February Is Heart Health Month and a Client Engagement Opportunity - Western Asset Protection
helping Medicare clients during Heart Health Month

February Is Heart Health Month and a Client Engagement Opportunity

Heart conditions become more common as people age, so it should be no surprise that many Medicare enrollees have heart conditions. February is Heart Health Month and a wonderful time of year for Medicare agents to reach out to their clients with heart health tips and resources.

Heart Health Statistics to Know

If you enjoy good heart health, you may take it for granted. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t have that luxury.

According to the CDC, heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women. Every 33 seconds, someone in the U.S. dies of cardiovascular disease; every year, 805,000 people have a heart attack. Approximately 1 in 20 adults aged 20 and above have coronary artery disease, and approximately 80% of coronary artery disease deaths occur in adults aged 65 or older.

The American Heart Association says 22.0% of men and 13.4% of women between the ages of 60 and 79 have coronary heart disease. Among people aged 80 and above, these numbers increase to 33.9% of men and 21.6% of women. These figures mean a significant percentage of your Medicare clients are likely to have coronary heart disease.

Medicare C-SNPs for Heart Disease

All Medicare plans provide coverage for many types of heart health screenings and treatments. However, the details and costs of coverage depend on the plan. For Medicare enrollees diagnosed with heart disease, a Medicare Chronic Condition Special Needs Plan (C-SNP) may be the best option.

Medicare C-SNPs are HMO and PPO plans that cater to the needs of enrollees with specific chronic health conditions. They provide coverage for the same Medicare Part A and B benefits that all Medicare Advantage plans offer, as well as prescription drug coverage. They often provide additional benefits that meet the needs of the enrollees they serve. Additionally, SNPs use a care coordinator, who helps enrollees develop a care plan to manage their condition and stay healthy.

Each C-SNP limits membership to enrollees with a particular chronic condition or two or more related chronic conditions.

Some Medicare enrollees with heart disease may be unable to join a C-SNP simply because there isn’t one that caters to heart disease in their area. This is especially likely to be true in less populated areas with fewer plan options. However, the number of C-SNPs keeps growing. According to KFF, there are 309 C-SNPs in 2024 – up from 152 in 2014.

If a Medicare enrollee is diagnosed with a chronic condition and a C-SNP that caters to that condition does exist in the area, the enrollee can use a special enrollment period to switch to the plan outside of Medicare’s annual enrollment period.

Take Advantage of Heart Health Month to Educate Your Clients

American Heart Health Month in February is the perfect time to reach out to your clients with educational resources and tips to help them use their Medicare coverage and stay hearthealthy. Healthy heart outreach is just one way to stay in contact with your clients outside the annual enrollment period. In addition to building better relationships, frequent contact with clients can lead to more loyalty and referrals.

Some ways to reach out to your clients include:

  • Email clients with reminders to receive screenings for cardiovascular disease. Early detection can improve outcomes. Medicare Part B covers cardiovascular screening blood tests once every five years. Enrollees pay nothing out of pocket costs for these tests.
  • Share a healthy heart article and tips on social media or reshare some of the posts that appear on the WAP feed.
  • Include heart health resources in your newsletter or on your website. Look for resources from trustworthy sources. For example, the American Heart Association has an infographic with 10 ways to improve heart health. The CDC, Mayo Clinic, and National Institute on Aging also have resources for you to share.

Considering how common heart disease is, many clients will likely benefit from educational resources and information about their coverage and plan options this Heart Health Month. If you have any questions or are seeking support with a retention program, Western Asset Protection is available to help. Contact us today.