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Health Care Reform:

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Special needs plan, also called SNP

A special needs plan is Medicare coverage for people with long-term health problems. This health issues include severe or disabling problems such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, stroke, and several others.

With a special needs plan, Medicare pays a private health insurance company to pay part of your health care. The part it pays covers items similar to Part B. SNPs help pay for doctor visits, hospitalizations, and prescription drugs.

One goal of an SNP is to help you keep track of the health care you get from all your providers. Another goal is to point out community services that might help you.

If you join an SNP, you still have all the rights of Medicare coverage, but you will have to follow the rules of the private insurance plan. For instance, to keep your costs down, you may need to use doctors in the plan's network. You may also need to get a referral from your primary doctor before you see a specialist.

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