August Issue Sponsor: UCare -Clear and simple health coverage

Clear and simple health coverage – that’s UCare’s longtime goal for members of its Medicare, Medicaid, Special Needs Plans and […]

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Clear and simple health coverage – that’s UCare’s longtime goal for members of its Medicare, Medicaid, Special Needs Plans and commercial health insurance plans. UCare strives to provide high-quality health care and a wide range of benefits and value-added services that contribute to overall health and well-being.

UCare ( is an independent, not-for-profit and inclusive health plan providing health care coverage plans to Minnesotans. It was founded in 1984 by the Department of Family Practice and Community Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School. It also was the first health plan in Minnesota to offer health care programs for people with disabilities.

Today, it offers three health coverage plans for this community:

UCARE CONNECT SPECIAL NEEDS BASICCARE (SNBC) plan in 62 counties serves adults ages 18-64 enrolled in Medical Assistance. This plan supports member health and well-being with benefits that exceed Medical Assistance. Individuals with Medicare can enroll and keep their current Medicare plans.

UCARE CONNECT + MEDICARE SPECIAL NEEDS PLAN (HMO SNP) in 11 metro-area counties also serves adults age 18-64 who are enrolled in Medical Assistance and have Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance).

UCARE’S MINNESOTA SENIOR HEALTH OPTIONS (MSHO) in 66 counties provides combined Medicare and Medical Assistance coverage to people age 65 and over, many of whom have disabilities. The State of Minnesota is now transitioning SNBC enrollees age 65 and older to senior Medical Assistance programs. Adults who choose UCare’s MSHO can keep many features of SNBC, including disability waiver services.

Value-added benefits help members Members of these three plans enjoy value-added benefits not available in Medical Assistance and some other Special Needs Plans or MSHO plans.

These benefits include:
• No costs to members, including no premiums, co-pays or deductibles; however, individuals with Medicare may have Medicare prescription medication co-pays.
• Free SilverSneakers® fitness program membership at more than 13,000 participating health clubs nationwide, as well as at-home fitness and wellness kits.
• Dental benefits, including help finding Delta Dental Civic Smiles network dentists, access to UCare’s Mobile Dental Clinic, and an extra annual dental cleaning.
• A care navigator or care coordinator assigned to each member to help access services and answer health care questions.
• 24/7 help to arrange free rides to and from covered medical and dental appointments, and the pharmacy.
• Incentives and rewards for completing certain medical tests or visits.
• WholeHealth Living® discounts on yoga, weight loss programs and massage, as well as community education class

Enrollment is voluntary and members can join or leave any of the plans monthly.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) designed and administers SNBC and MSHO plans to offer health care delivery options that improve access to primary and preventive care for adults with disabilities. All SNBC and MSHO benefits include hospital stays, nursing home care, doctor visits, outpatient care, preventive care, prescription drugs, transportation services, dental care, and interpreter services.

Personal Care Assistance (PCA), Home Care Nursing and disability waiver services are covered through the State for UCare for UCare Connect and UCare Connect + Medicare, so existing service arrangements can continue if members use these benefits. UCare’s MSHO includes PCA, Home Care Nursing and Elderly Waiver services through the health plan, and disability waiver coverage through the State. Credentialed staff connect people with UCare

Unlike other health plans, UCare employs licensed social workers with considerable disability services experience to work with prospective members and referral communities. Indeed, their extensive knowledge of people’s needs and challenges, and also of Minnesota Health Care Programs, improves experiences for members and professionals alike. The team can be reached Monday through Friday at 1-800-707-1711 toll free. Hearing impaired individuals can call 612-676-6810 or 1-800-688-2534 toll free.

Two additional UCare licensed social workers help members maintain continuous plan coverage during Medical Assistance renewal cycles. Their personal assistance helps members avoid interruptions in care and services that can affect quality of life and health.

The health plan also seeks insightful counsel from its Disability Advisory Committee. UCare uses the views and feedback of its SNBC members to improve its disability coverage, customer service and overall experience of its members.

Questions about UCare’s SNBC, SNP or MSHO plans? Call 1-800-707-1711 or visit



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  • "Stay safe, Minnesota. Take steps to protect yourself & others from the COVID-19 virus."

Mental Wellness