Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans 2025

Dual-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid in 2025? Dive into the Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans 2025, which offer a fusion of affordability and comprehensive coverage.

This guide walks you through the standout benefits, the steps to enroll, and the added perks coming in the new year to ensure you fully utilize your dual benefits for optimal healthcare.


Key Takeaways



  • Switching to or enrolling in a Blue Cross D-SNP involves understanding eligibility criteria, navigating enrollment windows, and utilizing post-enrollment support such as care coordination and 24/7 member services.

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Understanding Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs)


Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans 2025, Understanding Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs)


Blue Cross D-SNPs are meticulously crafted for individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid benefits. These plans offer an array of tailored benefits and services that address the unique healthcare needs of dual-eligible individuals.

By merging the advantages of both Medicare and Medicaid, these plans provide an integrated healthcare experience that is both efficient and impactful. Eligibility requires enrollment in both Medicare and Medicaid.

Blue Cross offers different D-SNPs such as the Medicare Advantage Dual Care Plus (HMO SNP) plan and the Dual Care Plus Preferred (PPO SNP) program, providing flexibility and choice to the beneficiaries.


The Essence of Dual Eligibility

Dual eligibility is a concept that refers to individuals who qualify for both Original Medicare and Medicaid entitlements. This unique status allows these individuals to enroll in a Dual Special Needs Plan. Dual-eligible individuals can have either full or partial Medicaid benefits.

If you have full dual eligibility, you enjoy complete coverage of Medicare premiums and most out-of-pocket costs. Partial dual eligibility may require some payments for premiums and medical care.

Dual-eligible individuals often grapple with more complex health needs and typically have more limited financial resources compared to the average Medicare enrollee.

Under full dual eligibility in a Blue Cross D-SNP, Medicaid covers the costs of Medicare Part A and B premiums, as well as most out-of-pocket expenses.


Key Features of Blue Cross D-SNPs

Blue Cross D-SNPs come with a host of unique features that set them apart from conventional Medicare Advantage plans.

Some of these features include:

  • Fully or partially Medicaid-eligible individuals can often enjoy $0 premiums, copays, and deductibles, making healthcare more accessible.


  • Enrollees receive an Anthem Benefits Prepaid Card which they can use for health items, groceries, assistive devices, and various living expenses.


  • The prepaid card can also be used for out-of-pocket dental, vision, or hearing costs.


These features make Independent Blue Cross D-SNPs a valuable option for individuals seeking comprehensive healthcare coverage.

Additionally, these plans provide extra coverage for dental, vision, and hearing services beyond what is typically covered by Original Medicare, including routine exams, cleanings, eyewear allowances, and hearing aids.


Exclusive Advantages of Enrolling in a Blue Cross D-SNP


Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans 2025, Exclusive Advantages of Enrolling in a Blue Cross D-SNP


Beyond the standard benefits, Blue Cross D-SNPs provide members with exclusive advantages that are designed to enhance their health and wellness, including built-in drug coverage for generic drugs.

A notable perk for enrollees includes:


  • Receiving a quarterly over the counter (OTC) spending allowance pre-loaded onto a Benefits Prepaid Card for select OTC products, making it easier to access essential health items


  • This OTC benefit includes items like vitamins, pain relievers, cold medicine, and first aid supplies, catering to the health and wellness of the members.


Moreover, Blue Cross D-SNPs provide additional benefits not typically covered by Medicare, such as meal benefits and other unique wellness advantages, like what Blue Shield offers.


Financial Incentives: Premiums and Deductibles


Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans 2025, Exclusive Advantages of Enrolling in a Blue Cross D-SNP


One of the standout benefits of Blue Cross D-SNPs is the financial incentives they offer. These plans may include a $0 premium, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals on a fixed income.

The cost of premiums may depend on whether an individual is fully or partially eligible for Medicaid.

Furthermore, most Blue Cross D-SNPs come with the following benefits:

  • $0 deductibles, minimizing upfront costs for care


  • Depending on their level of Medicaid eligibility, enrollees may not have any cost-sharing responsibility when enrolled in Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Dual Care Plus plans


  • These financial considerations cater to the unique needs of dual-eligible individuals, such as potential $0 premiums and deductibles.


Health and Wellness Extras

Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans 2025, Exclusive Advantages of Enrolling in a Blue Cross D-SNP


In addition to financial incentives, Blue Cross D-SNPs, supported by the Blue Shield Association, provide members with extras that promote health and wellness. Some of these extras include:

  • A free SilverSneakers® gym membership, fostering physical fitness and supporting wellness initiatives



  • Vision exams and an eyewear allowance


  • Hearing exam coverage including hearing aids


These benefits are key components of the Blue Cross D-SNP’s vision, dental, and hearing benefits.

Plus, members have access to a plethora of extra benefits and support services, including:

  • Over-the-counter health items


  • Housing support


  • Personal care


  • Home modifications


  • Medically tailored meals


  • Assistance with utilities and groceries through the Anthem Benefits Prepaid Card.

Enrollment Guide for Blue Cross D-SNPs

Enrolling in a Blue Cross D-SNP is a straightforward process if you know what to expect. To enroll, individuals must primarily reside in a county where the plan is offered.

There are specific enrollment periods for joining a Medicare Advantage plan like the Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Dual Care Plus, including the option to change health plans once per calendar quarter outside of the Annual Enrollment Period.

However, Anthem D-SNPs provide additional enrollment flexibility, allowing individuals to enroll at any time if they have Medicaid or become Medicaid-eligible.


Determining Your Eligibility

Before enrolling in a Blue Cross D-SNP, you should first ascertain your eligibility. You must first sign up for Original Medicare.

Individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid can enroll in a Blue Cross D-SNP at any time they maintain or gain Medicaid eligibility.

Remember, a member’s Medicaid eligibility is determined at the state level and can consequently impact the ability to enroll in Blue Cross D-SNP plans.


Navigating Enrollment Periods

Understanding the enrollment periods is key to successfully enrolling in a Blue Cross D-SNP.

Here are the different enrollment periods:

  • Current Blue Cross D-SNP members can switch their plan once per quarter from January 1 through September 30.


  • Current Blue Cross D-SNP members can also switch their plans during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period from October 15 through December 7.


  • Special Enrollment Periods allow individuals to make changes to their Medicare Advantage and prescription drug coverage due to specific events, such as gaining full dual eligibility, moving, or loss of insurance.


The types of changes that can be made during a Special Enrollment Period and when they can be made vary based on the individual’s specific life circumstances.

When a change is made, coverage under the new plan begins on the first day of the month after the plan approves the enrollment request.

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Network and Provider Access with Blue Cross D-SNPs

Blue Cross D-SNPs provide a network of primary care providers, specialists, and hospitals specifically tailored to the needs of individuals who are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid.

The provider network of Blue Cross D-SNPs incorporates a diverse selection of healthcare professionals and facilities to guarantee members can access comprehensive care services.

In addition, members can leverage telehealth services to conveniently access healthcare professionals and address health issues promptly.


Choosing Your Primary Care Provider


Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans 2025, Network and Provider Access with Blue Cross D-SNPs


Securing a primary care provider (PCP) forms an essential step towards guaranteeing consistent, quality care.

Your PCP facilitates the coordination of additional care with other providers, reviews your medications for potential interactions, and develops personalized care plans.

A primary care provider within the Blue Cross network can take various forms including a doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or a virtual care team accessible through a virtual primary care practice.

You can find a PCP in your area by utilizing the insurance company’s provider directory, which offers information on each PCP’s specialty, new patient acceptance status, languages spoken, educational background, office location, and contact details.


Specialist and Hospital Networks

In addition to primary care providers, Blue Cross D-SNPs grant access to a comprehensive network of specialists and hospitals, which operate within the plan’s coverage guidelines.

Cost-sharing depends on the member’s Medicaid eligibility. Special Needs Plans may include additional offerings such as:

  • extended hospital stays for complex health issues like cancer or congestive heart failure


  • specialized care for chronic conditions


  • transportation services for medical appointments


  • prescription drug coverage


  • dental and vision care


These offerings cater to the specific needs of its members.

Within Blue Cross D-SNPs HMO plans, selecting a primary care provider is generally a prerequisite for accessing specialist care, except for OB/GYN services, which may require a PCP referral.

Personalized Support and Services

Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans offer personalized services such as companionship and in-home support to enhance the quality of life for members.

These services are designed to meet the unique needs of each member and provide the necessary support to ensure they receive the best possible care.


Care Coordination Tailored to You

Anthem D-SNPs are designed to coordinate Medicare and Medicaid benefits, offering an integrated experience for members who qualify for both programs. Enhanced Care Management (ECM) addresses physical, behavioral, and psycho-social needs via core services such as outreach, comprehensive assessment, and enhanced coordination of care.

Every Anthem D-SNP enrollee receives a dedicated Care Manager who oversees the coordination of their care, ensuring that all their health needs are met efficiently.

Anthem’s D-SNPs come with added benefits tailored to the needs of dual-eligible individuals, such as gym memberships, assistive devices, and provisions for in-home support to enhance their quality of life.


Additional Support Services


Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans 2025, Personalized Support and Services


Beyond care coordination, Anthem D-SNPs offer the following benefits to enhance the quality of life for enrollees:

  • Assistive devices to support mobility and improve the quality of life


  • In-home support services to provide companionship and further enhance the quality of life


  • Transportation benefits, including rides to plan-covered services, to enhance member access to healthcare


These benefits are designed to provide comprehensive support and improve the overall well-being of members.

Plus, Anthem D-SNPs provide a prepaid benefits card that can be used for over-the-counter health items, groceries, utilities, and other expenses, contributing to the daily convenience and financial flexibility of members.

Comparing Blue Cross D-SNPs to Other Plans


Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans 2025, Comparing Blue Cross D-SNPs to Other Plans


Blue Cross D-SNPs offer unique advantages for dual-eligible beneficiaries, including:

  • Coordinated care


  • Financial benefits


  • No premium charges


  • Benefits beyond traditional Medicare


These advantages provide a significant financial advantage for dual-eligible individuals.

Anthem Blue Cross D-SNPs often have a $0 monthly premium, making these plans especially accessible for those who are dual eligible, in contrast to other Medicare Advantage plans which may require a monthly fee.


Blue Cross vs. Other Medicare Advantage Plans

Unlike some standard Medicare Advantage plans, Blue Cross SNPs provide:

  • Greater coordination of Medicare and Medicaid benefits


  • Extra care coordination services


  • Customized benefits, provider choices, and drug formularies to meet the needs of their targeted populations.


The Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Dual Care Plus (HMO SNP) SM Plan and Dual Care Plus Preferred (PPO SNP)SM Plan, which are among the various Blue Shield plans available, both cover outpatient services and surgery, with costs ranging from 0% to 20% of the total cost, contingent upon the patient’s Extra Help status.

The availability and variety of Blue Cross D-SNPs can differ greatly by geographic location, with some individuals having access to up to 40 D-SNP options while others may only have one available plan.


Blue Cross D-SNPs and Private Insurance Offerings

Compared to other private insurance companies, Blue Cross D-SNPs and other private insurance companies’ SNPs often include specialized services catering to beneficiaries with specific diseases or healthcare needs.

Anthem Blue Cross D-SNPs stand out by offering a monthly or quarterly flex card with an allowance for various expenses, a unique feature that may not be present in other private insurers’ plans.

With UnitedHealthcare and Humana dominating the D-SNP market in 2023 with 52% of total enrollments, the market is highly competitive, challenging Blue Cross to differentiate its offerings.

The number of D-SNPs has consistently grown in the private insurance market, with 851 plans in 2025 compared to 401 in 2018, illustrating a competitive environment for Blue Cross D-SNPs.

CVS Health’s aggressive expansion in D-SNP offerings from 2018 to 2025 showcases the dynamic nature of the market and the need for Blue Cross to be innovative in its approach.

Transitioning to Blue Cross D-SNPs

Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans 2025, Transitioning to Blue Cross D-SNPs

Transitioning to a Blue Cross D-SNP represents an important stride for those new to Medicare or considering a plan switch. It’s important to understand what the transition entails to ensure a smooth and seamless process.


Making the Switch

If you’re considering switching to a Blue Cross D-SNP, follow these steps:

  • Confirm that your primary residence is situated within a county that offers the Blue Cross Medicare Advantage Dual Care Plus.


  • Verify your eligibility for the Blue Cross D-SNP.


  • Understand the enrollment periods for switching to a Blue Cross D-SNP. By following these steps, you can successfully transition to a Blue Cross D-SNP that suits your healthcare needs.


What to Expect After Enrollment

Upon enrollment, members will receive:

  • A welcome packet and plan documentation that outlines specific benefits, rules, and resources for assistance when needed


  • Access to a 24/7-member service line for assistance or information about their plan benefits


  • Online account access to track claims, view coverage details, and manage aspects of their plan


Additionally, each member will be assigned a Care Coordinator post-enrollment, who will assist in navigating benefits and coordinating care with other healthcare providers.

Personalized support will adapt accordingly as the member’s health needs and preferences evolve.

While members might have to make copayments for certain services, these costs are generally reduced for dual-eligible members. Healthcare services available to members may include non-emergency transportation and telehealth visits apart from the standard care services.


Through this discussion, we have unveiled the distinct advantages of Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans. These plans are meticulously designed for individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, offering an integrated healthcare experience that is both efficient and impactful.

By providing personalized services, extensive network access, and unique financial incentives, Blue Cross D-SNPs significantly enhance the quality of life for dual-eligible individuals.

As healthcare needs evolve, so does the personalized support provided by these plans, demonstrating their commitment to member-centric care.


Frequently Asked Questions


→  What are the Medicare changes for 2025?

In 2025, Medicare changes include deductible increases for Medicare Part A and Part B, premium increases for Part B, and expanded Part D coverage.


→  What are the 3 types of SNP plans?

The three types of SNP plans are Chronic Condition Special Needs Plan (C-SNP), Institutional Special Needs Plan (I-SNP), and Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP). Each has different eligibility requirements.


  What is a dual special needs plan D SNP?

A Dual Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) is a type of Medicare Advantage plan designed for individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, providing specialized care and additional services.

It was authorized as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003.


→  Who is eligible for Blue Cross Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs)?

If you qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid services, you are eligible to enroll in a Blue Cross D-SNP.


 What are the financial incentives of Blue Cross D-SNPs?

The financial incentives of Blue Cross D-SNPs include $0 premiums, copays, and deductibles, as well as a Benefits Prepaid Card for eligible out-of-pocket expenses. This can provide significant cost savings for fully or partially Medicaid-eligible individuals.

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Russell Noga
( Medicare Expert )

Russell Noga is the CEO of ZRN Health & Financial Services, and head content editor of several Medicare insurance online publications. He has over 15 years of experience as a licensed Medicare insurance broker helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medigap insurance, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.