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5 surprising benefits of dual health plans
Posted: February 10, 2020
Last updated date: September 15, 2023
Many people who have Medicaid and Medicare face difficult health challenges. And low income can make life even harder. Dual health plans include extra benefits and features to help those with Medicaid and Medicare. Some of these benefits, like credits to buy OTC products and covered groceries, dental care and prescription drug coverage, you may know about. But dual health plans also offer many other benefits and features that may surprise you.* Read on to learn more.
1. Care Coordination
Health care can be confusing for anyone. But it may be more difficult for those with Medicaid and Medicare. Some dual health plans may offer you a personal care coordinator. That’s someone who can help you:
- Understand your Medicaid and Medicare benefits.
- Manage your doctors, specialists and care services.
- Get the services you need to feel as healthy as you can.
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2. Personal Emergency Response System
Some dual health plans offer members a personal emergency response system (PERS) at no extra cost. In an emergency, the PERS system quickly connects the member with a trained operator. The operator can give assistance over the phone and send help if needed. PERS is a life-saving benefit that’s available 24 hours a day with dual health plans from UnitedHealthcare.
3. Virtual Medical Visits
It’s not always convenient to travel to see a doctor. Virtual Medical Visits let members live video chat with a doctor on their computer, tablet or smartphone. Doctors can answer questions and treat many common health conditions. Virtual Medical Visits are available 24/7 with or without an appointment.
4. Worldwide Emergency Coverage
If you take a trip or visit relatives, it’s nice to know you’re still covered for emergency and urgent care. Many dual health plans include Worldwide Emergency Coverage to protect members whenever and wherever they travel.
5. You may be able to enroll right away
One of the biggest benefits of a dual health plan is that you may not have to wait to enroll. Most people can only change their Medicare plan during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) in the fall. But if you qualify for Medicaid and are enrolled in Medicare, you may be able to enroll during the first 9 months of the year in a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). See the article When can you enroll in a dual health plan for more details.
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*Benefits and features vary by plan/area. Limitations and exclusions apply.
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Dual-eligible or Medicaid plan benefits can change depending on where you live. Search using your ZIP code to find the right plan to meet your health care needs.