Homeless Special Needs Plans for People Experiencing Homelessness

The US Census Bureau estimated that in 2018, more than 550 000 individuals experienced homelessness on any given day.1 Homelessness is both a recognized cause and a result of health problems. There has been a movement over the past several years to include housing as a health care intervention by several key cities and municipalities, notably, San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. Although these programs have had some success with small populations of patients, their reliance on city budgets raises questions about scalability. The creation of a homelessness-focused special needs plan, a type of Medicare Advantage insurance plan aimed at meeting the unique care needs of specific high-need populations, may be an approach through which to sustainably finance health care delivery for homeless individuals.

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