Do We Know If Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans Are Special?

This report describes the history of special needs plans, how they fit into the larger Medicare Advantage marketplace, and what information could help assess whether these plans are performing differently from other Medicare Advantage plans.

Special needs plans serve individuals such as those who are institutionalized, people covered under both Medicare and Medicaid, or those with chronic or disabling conditions. Enrollment in these plans doubled in the past year, and President Bush recently signed the bill reauthorizing Medicare’s special needs plans through 2009. This report also examines why companies are establishing special needs plans and the challenges to oversight and marketing of these plans. The report was prepared for the Foundation by researchers at Mathematica Policy Research.

Report (.pdf)

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