Medicare Special Needs Plans (SNPs) provide many benefits that you can’t get with just any other plan. They’re a special class of plans falling under Medicare Advantage, which in itself brings benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t. Although SNPs have three separate options with their own benefits, one thing holds true for all of them — mandatory prescription drug coverage.
Advantages of Built-In Prescription Drug Coverage
Having prescription coverage makes it more convenient when you go to a pharmacy in your area. With an SNP, you don’t have to enroll in a separate Medicare Part D plan.
Medicare Part D is a great option for coverage if you do not have anything else, but it still involves research and weighing options. These plans are offered through private insurance. Because of this, there will be differences in medications that are covered in the plans’ formularies, and costs are not going to be the same.
SNPs eliminate this process altogether. And because these plans are so closely tailored to your needs, this will be the most cost-effective option and provide the coverage that’s most relevant to your health needs.
How May One SNP’s Prescription Drug Plan Be Different From Another?
SNPs come in these forms:
- Dual Eligible (D-SNP)
- Chronic (C-SNP)
- Institutional (I-SNP)
D-SNPs require eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid. While you can have Original Medicare and Medicaid together, the coverage won’t be the same because Original Medicare doesn’t cover medications, so you’d have to rely on Medicaid’s prescription benefits. D-SNPs fix that issue.
C-SNPs cover medications specific to a beneficiary’s severe condition. You must have a serious illness such as cancer, chronic heart failure, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or an autoimmune disorder. The coverage itself will help you save more on the extensive care required to treat your condition. You’ll get greater coverage for medications to manage your symptoms.
I-SNP coverage applies to what you get while living in an institution (e.g. nursing homes). This kind of coverage is atypical of Medicare, as long-term care is exempt from other Medicare plans. This plan will cover the medications administered to you.
How Do I Enroll In An SNP?
There are a couple of ways to go about this. The first is to join during the Initial Enrollment Period, which spans from three months before you turn 65 to three months after.
If you didn’t join during the Initial Enrollment Period, you’ll need to get Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) during the General Enrollment Period, which lasts from January 1 to March 31.
Once enrolled in Original Medicare, you’ll be able to switch to the SNP you’re eligible for during the Annual Enrollment Period. This takes place between October 15 and December 7.
Get the Medicare Coverage You Deserve
If you’re wanting to learn more, or are interested in joining an SNP during the upcoming Annual Enrollment Period, no agency is more equipped than Carolina Senior Benefits. As Medicare specialists, we’ll work hard to get you the coverage you deserve — satisfaction guaranteed. Call (704) 765-4689 today!