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Institutional Special Needs Plans (I-SNPs):Coverage Tailored with Long-Term Care in Mind

In this article:   

What is an I-SNP?Jump to
What is a SNP?Jump to
How Do I Qualify for an I-SNP? Jump to
When Can I Enroll in an I-SNP?Jump to

What is an I-SNP? 

Medicare Advantage Plans come in many forms, and if you or someone you love lives in a health care institution, then it’s time to consider an I-SNP. Institutional Special Needs Plans (I-SNP) are a special type of Medicare Advantage Plan tailored to people who need the services of a long-term care skilled nursing facility, like a nursing home.

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What is a SNP? 

I-SNPs are part of a larger category of Special Needs Plans (SNPs). SNPs (often times pronounced as “snips”) limit membership to people with specific diseases or characteristics. The reason why is because these plans offer benefits and services not found in other types of Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C)  in addition to all the Medicare services that all Medicare Advantage plans must cover. 

One of the most notable benefits of a SNP is care coordinators. These care coordinators help you stay on track with your care. For example, a care coordinator can help schedule appointments, get the right prescription drugs and monitor other health-related activities.1  

Do I get Prescription Drug Coverage with an I-SNP?  

Yes. All SNPs are required to include prescription drug coverage. 

Other types of SNPs 

There are three types of SNPs: Institutional Special Needs Plans (I-SNP), Chronic Condition SNPs (C-SNP), and Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNP) 

  • C-SNP are for people with chronic medical conditions. 
  • D-SNPs are for people who have both Medicare and Medicaid.

How Do I Qualify for an I-SNP?  

You can join an Institutional Special Needs Plan if you meet the plan’s requirements. You must reside in a long-term care facility with no anticipated discharge, be currently enrolled in Medicare Part A and B, and live in an area in which a plan is licensed.:1  

When Can I Enroll in an I-SNP?  

If you meet the eligibility requirements for I-SNP, you can enroll in an I-SNP when entering a qualifying health care institution.2  

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1  “Institutional Special Needs Plans (I-SNPs),”, Accessed: Feb. 17, 2022.
2Special Circumstances (Special Enrollment Periods),”, Accessed: Feb. 17, 2022.

Denise Austin, 65, Ensurem Ambassador

Best-Selling Author, Creator of Fit Over 50 Magazine

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