Insuring You. Insuring Your Health

« Back to Home

3 Reasons Why A Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan Is A Great Option For Seniors Managing A Chronic Medical Condition

Posted on

Special needs plans are a special type of Medicare Advantage plans that are meant for people with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, or congestive heart failure. Insurers design the benefits of these plans around helping people stay as healthy as possible by keeping their chronic conditions under control, which helps reduce the amount of money they spend on medical costs. If you're a senior and you have a chronic medical condition, enrolling in a special needs plan has a number of benefits compared to enrolling in a normal Medicare Advantage plan or staying in traditional Medicare. To learn three reasons why a special needs plan is a great option for seniors with chronic medical conditions, read on. 

1. Gives You Access to a Care Coordinator

The major benefit that separates special needs plans from standard Medicare Advantage plans is that a special needs plan will provide you with a care coordinator. The role of the care coordinator is to help you manage your chronic medical condition more effectively. If you have kidney disease, for example, your care coordinator will help you schedule dialysis appointments and make sure that you attend them. For diabetes, a care coordinator will help you find a dietitian that can help you improve your blood sugar control. Having access to a care coordinator is a great benefit of a special needs plan since they'll help you manage your chronic condition successfully.

2. Provides Greater Nonmedical Benefits

Some Medicare Advantage plans provide nonmedical benefits, which can include benefits like having meals delivered to your home or transportation to the doctor. Special needs plans typically provide you with more nonmedical benefits than traditional Medicare Advantage plans, since the role of these plans is to keep you as healthy as possible. If you need transportation for a dialysis appointment, for example, a special needs plan is more likely to provide it to you. For the insurer, making sure you attend all your scheduled dialysis appointments helps reduce the amount of money they spend on your medical care — the more they help you manage your chronic condition successfully, the less likely you will be to need emergency care.

3. Refers You to Doctors Specializing in Your Chronic Condition

Finally, special needs plans are able to connect you with all of the resources that you need to manage your chronic condition well. If you have congestive heart failure and you're in a special needs plan, for example, they'll help you schedule an appointment with a cardiologist who has a special interest in helping patients keep their heart failure under control. Co-pays for specialist visits appropriate for your condition will also typically be lower in a special needs plan, as well — the insurer wants to make sure that you stay healthy by receiving the care that you need.

If you're a senior with a chronic medical condition, make sure you research all of the Medicare Advantage special needs plans available in your area. When applying, you'll need to provide a note from your doctor confirming that you have a diagnosis that fits the plan criteria. By enrolling in one that fits your needs, you'll have better access to the resources you need to manage your chronic condition well and stay healthy.