Rise in Popularity of “Special Needs” Plans Spurs Growth in Medicare Advantage

The Medicare Advantage (MA) program grew by 9% last year gaining 2.3 million new members. According to Patrick Phillips, CEO of Cavulus, a preeminent technology firm in the industry, a key factor in boosting enrollment was an expansion of Special Needs Plans or SNPs (pronounced "snip").

SNPs were created in 2006 and limit membership to people who meet certain criteria or have specific diseases. Currently there are three types of SNPs: I-SNP for institutionalized individuals, D-SNP for beneficiaries who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, and C-SNP for people with certain chronic conditions. "SNPs tailor their benefits, provider choices, and drug formularies to best meet the specific needs of the groups they serve" according to Medicare.gov.

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