Special Needs Plans!

By David S. Edge

Did you know that there are special Medicare Advantage plans for folks who have chronic conditions? They are called Special Needs Plans or SNPs for short. If you have diabetes, End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or congestive heart failure, you should review these plans with your Medicare Advisor.

These plans can offer lower co-pays for specialists, supplies, therapy, and treatment, for your specific condition. Some even offer transportation to those who can’t get around. Some plans also offer discounts on diabetic shoes. The Federal Government created these programs for insurance companies to offer specialized treatment to populations of people who have chronic conditions that can be
managed, with extra help, for a long and healthier lifestyle. These plans have proven to provide better outcomes for the special needs population.

These plans tailor benefits as well as drug formularies to meet the needs of these patients. In most cases, you still must use doctors and specialist that are on your network, as well as labs and hospitals. A Primary Care doctor will direct your care. This doctor will refer
you to the specialist in your network.

Another classification is Dual Special Needs and this is when you have Medicare and Medicaid. This is when your State and the Federal government will partner together to assist you with health coverage and financial expenses. Medicaid coverage is coordinated by
each State. In Arizona, for example, the State Medicaid plan is called AHCCCS.

You will want to ensure that your doctors and facilities are on these networks before you switch!
There are 17 Special Needs Plans available in Maricopa County, Arizona, for the year 2018.

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