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special needs plan (SNP)

What is a Medicare SNP?

What is a Medicare special needs plan (SNP)?

A Medicare special needs plan (SNP) is a type of Medicare Advantage plan that provides all of the health care and services of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B to people who require special care for chronic illnesses, care management of multiple diseases, and focused care management. Most SNPs simply coordinate care between Medicare and Medicaid, but do not integrate the patient’s coverage into one plan.

There are three types of Special Needs Plans, designed for three different populations:

  • Beneficiaries who are dually eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (D-SNP)
  • Beneficiaries with certain chronic medical conditions (C-SNP)
  • Beneficiaries who are institutionalized in a nursing home or other facility (I-SNP)

D-SNPs account for the large majority of all SNP enrollees. As of 2023, there were 5.7 million people enrolled in SNPs, and nearly 5.2 million of them were in D-SNPs.1



  1. Medicare Advantage in 2023: Enrollment Update and Key Trends” KFF. August 9, 2023. 
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