Some Medicare Advantage Plans may be more appropriate for your specific needs than others. Care Improvement Plus from United Healthcare is one of those plans.
The vast majority of Care Improvement Plus Medicare Advantage Plans are Special Needs Plans (SNP). These SNP’s are designed for Medicare beneficiaries with heart failure, COPD, diabetes or with full Medicaid.
The benefits of a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan are tailored the needs of people with chronic health conditions, people who are dual eligible (Medicare and Medicaid) and to people in institutionalized care.
There are also Care Improvement Plus plans for people with Medicare only who do not have a qualifying health condition for a Special Needs Plan.
Overview of Care Improvement Plus plan options
Like all Medicare Advantage Plan’s, the availability of Care Improvement Plus plans is dependent on the service area you live in.
Plans are currently available in 15 States, including: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. Not all Counties in each State may have a plan available.
Plans either have a PPO or Regional PPO provider network. You will receive lower out-of-pocket costs if you receive services from a network provider, but are able to go out-of-network without a referral. Getting care out-of-network will generally require a little higher out-of-pocket costs.
Plans are categorized by what type of condition or circumstance they are tailored for. Plans include:
- Silver Rx
- Gold Rx
- Copper Rx
- Dual Advantage
- Medicare Advantage
Care Improvement Plus plans provide all the Medicare Part A and Part B benefits as well as many other benefits and services. Special Needs Plans in general usually offer a higher level of coordinated care to meet the specific needs of the members. Care Improvement Plus benefits include:
- Medical hospital and Rx coverage
- An in-home visit from a health care professional
- Health education
- Care management services – nurse hotline, care coordinators & pharmacists
- Vision benefits
- Dental benefits
- Hearing Aid benefit
- Transportation to and from medical appointments
Plans premiums and copays are designed to fit your budget and referrals are not required for Medicare-covered services.
Deciding if a plan is right for you
If you are interested in a Special Needs Plan, you will need to verify your qualifying condition by completing a Chronic Condition Verification Form. If you do not have a qualifying chronic condition, you should consider the Medicare Advantage Plan option for people with Medicare only. Also, if you do not have full Medicaid, do not enroll in the plan for people with dual eligibility because you will be penalized with much higher out-of-pocket costs than are necessary.
Before you enroll in a plan, review the Care Improvement Plus Summary of Benefits to get the full picture as to what is covered and what your financial responsibility will be.
You should also review the plan’s provider directory and Part D drug formulary. You will need to choose a primary care provider when you complete the Care Improvement Plus enrollment application.
Care Improvement Plus plans are not for everyone. If you are interested in other Medicare Advantage Plans from United Healthcare, you may want to consider AARP MedicareComplete. Plans are available with or without Part D drug coverage and are more readily available in more service areas.