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Health Plans Highlight Value of Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans; Urge Congress to Extend Program

AHIP releases new Medicare Advantage innovations book

WASHINGTON, April 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At a briefing today on Capitol Hill hosted by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), health plans showcased the value Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans (SNP) provide to the most vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries.

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AHIP is urging Congress to extend the SNP program beyond 2009 and remove the existing moratorium on new SNPs and service areas to ensure beneficiaries with special needs have access to plans that are specifically tailored to address their issues.

"Many chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries rely on Special Needs Plans to get the coordinated, specialized health care they need," said Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of AHIP.

Special Needs Plans serve the most vulnerable Medicare populations, including Medicaid/Medicare dual eligibles, beneficiaries with severe and disabling chronic conditions, and those living in nursing homes.

These plans provide extra benefits and targeted services, including:

-- Tailored care management and collaboration with providers;

-- Additional benefits, such as dental and vision benefits;

-- Reduced cost-sharing for prescription drugs and specialized services;

-- Integrated mental and behavioral health treatment;

-- Face-to-face counseling services; and

-- Access to community based social services.

AHIP also released a new report on the innovative programs Special Needs Plans and other Medicare Advantage plans are providing to help Medicare beneficiaries get high quality health care and other services. This report can be found here:

America's Health Insurance Plans -- Providing Health Benefits to More Than 200 Million Americans

SOURCE America's Health Insurance Plans
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