It can become easy to find yourself in a lull when it is not the annual election period from mid-October to early December. We are here to remind you that Special Needs Plans (SNPs) are here for you year-round!
Further, it becomes important to note that many of your senior clients qualify for a Special Needs Plan. We want you to be ready to enroll them in the best plan.
Understanding Special Needs Plans
There are multiple types of Medicare Advantage Plans that fall under a category called Coordinated Care Plans, or CCPs. CCPs contract with a network of providers so that beneficiaries can hope to pay less out-of-pocket.
Luckily, of the four types of CCPs, Special Needs Plans, or SNPs, do not have a designated enrollment period, and individuals can enroll in a plan at any time. Therefore, helping individuals find the ideal SNP for them is a great place to start when considering opportunities to continue serving Medicare beneficiaries during the lock-in period.
What You Need to Know About Special Needs Plans
Special Needs Plans (SNPs) exist for people who have a qualifying special need. There are three different types of SNPs to familiarize yourself with:
- Chronic Conditions Special Needs Plans (C-SNPs) refer to individuals who have a severe chronic condition, as defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
- Institutional Special Needs Plans (I-SNPs) cater to those who live in an institution, like a nursing home or receive in-home healthcare. CMS provides a breakdown here.
- Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs) refers to persons who may be dual-eligible, meaning that they qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. Do you desire an in-depth explanation? CMS provides you with all of the need-to-know information.
Typically, each SNP limits its membership to a single group. For example, a C-SNP may only be open to people with chronic heart failure. This allows it to specialize its network and benefits to provide the best care for the specific needs of that particular group.
SNPs are a great option for your clients who qualify. All of their care is coordinated through the plan and specifically tailored to the needs of the client’s condition. The best part is: SNPs are required to include prescription drug coverage.
How Your Client Can Receive Year-Round Benefits
Care coordinators are there to help beneficiaries stay on track with their doctor’s treatment plan or navigate the best way to use their plan. We encourage you, as a broker, to think of care coordinators as a tour guide for your clients. Their role is to ensure that your client takes the right route to get the most out of their journey.
Finally, it is worth considering that the market for Special Needs Plans is growing. Ample opportunities exist that allow you to continue selling throughout the lock-in period lull. Becoming eligible and losing eligibility can result in Special Election Periods (SEPs) for your clients. It is imperative to check in periodically to ensure that your client’s status remains constant. However, if it changes, remember that Special Needs Plans are here for you and your clients year-round.