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Care Coordination for Persons with Disabilities and
Those Age 65 and Older

Cook County Public Health & Human Services   Lake Superior News
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COOK COUNTY, MINNESOTA - April 14, 2019  (LSN)   Cook County Public Health & Human Services (PHHS) is one of many counties across the state that contracts with managed care companies to provide Care Coordination for persons with disabilities and individuals age 65 and older. Cook County PHHS currently contracts with BlueCross BlueShield, HealthPartners, and UCare to provide Care Coordination services to roughly 75 residents of Cook County.  

Managed Care Plans Available in Cook County:

  • Minnesota Senior Health Options (MSHO)
    MSHO is a health plan for individuals ages 65 and older who have both Medicare Part A and Part B and Medical Assistance. MSHO offers the same benefits as Medicare and Medical Assistance do on their own and combines them into one package, which allows members to have one insurance card for all of their health care needs, including prescription drug coverage. There is no monthly premium for this plan; however, members may pay a copay for certain health care services.  
  • Minnesota Senior Care Plus (MSC+)
    MSC+ is a health plan for individuals age 65 and older who qualify for Medical Assistance. MSC+ does not include a recipient’s Medicare and prescription drug benefits into one plan. There is no monthly premium for this plan; however, members may pay a copay for certain health care services.
  • Special Needs Basic Care (SNBC)
    SNBC is a voluntary managed care program for individuals who are certified blind or disabled by the Social Security Administration or State Medical Review Team (SMRT), age 18-64-years-old and enrolled in Medical Assistance. There are no co-pays for MA-covered services, prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs and there are no health plan premiums, deductibles or copays.

Benefits and Services of Managed Care Plans
Eligible recipients receive a variety of benefits and services through managed care plans, which may include the following:

  • Care coordination (which includes activities that help people to access and coordinate services)
  • Dental care
  • Doctor visits
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Emergency room care
  • Gym membership
  • Home and community-based services (Elderly Waiver)
  • Home health services
  • Hospital care
  • Interpreter services
  • Labs and X-rays
  • Nursing home care
  • Online Health Coaching
  • Prescription drugs
  • Personal care attendant services
  • Support for tobacco cessation
  • Transportation coverage to/from medical, dental, and mental health appointments

Care Coordination
Cook County PHHS has two licensed Social Workers providing Care Coordination to individuals enrolled in any of the managed care programs described above. Care Coordinators reach out to all newly enrolled members, and, for those members interested in engaging in services, perform assessments of health and safety needs. Care Coordinators work with each member to develop a personalized Care Plan that identifies formal and informal supports, health needs, and goals. Care Coordinators remain in contact with members periodically as delegated by each health plan. Individuals with higher needs may have more frequent contact with their Care Coordinator, especially during times of transition, i.e. medical crisis or a change in condition indicating a need for increased care. Care Coordinators can help members resolve medication issues, scheduling medical appointments, answering questions about health insurance, making choices regarding care and arranging for services to help individuals to remain living in their homes for as long and as safely possible.  

Study Shows Improved Outcomes for Seniors Enrolled in MSHO
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published the Minnesota Managed Care Longitudinal Data Analysis Studyi. The Study found that seniors enrolled in the integrated MSHO program experience improved outcomes. 

This study provides strong support for continued integration of Medicare and Medicaid for people eligible for both programs. The study compared the experiences of similar beneficiaries inside and outside of MSHO and found that MSHO enrollees were:

  • 48 percent less likely to have a hospital stay, and those who were hospitalized had 26 percent fewer stays
  • 6 percent less likely to have an outpatient emergency department visit, and those who did visit an emergency department had 38 percent fewer visits
  • 2.7 times more likely to have visited a primary care doctor at least once in the year

Learn more about Care Coordination services offered by Cook County PHHS at the April 16 PHHS Board Meeting. Information and resources are also available by calling 218-387-3620 or visit Cook County PHHS Monday-Friday, from 8 am – 4 pm, at 411 W 2nd St, Grand Marais, MN. Online at or “Like” us on Facebook @CookCountyPHHS  

By: Cook County Public Health & Human Services

 County Connections is a column on timely topics and service information from your Cook County government. Cook County – Supporting Community Through Quality Public Service




Cook County  Lake Superior News

About Cook County Minnesota

Cook Country Minnesota   Lake Superior News

Cook County is at the tip of Minnesota's Arrowhead region in the remote northeastern part of the state, stretching from the shores of Lake Superior to the US-Canada border. By land it borders Ontario, Canada to the north, and Lake County, MN to the west.  The highest point in Minnesota, Eagle Mountain is 2,301 feet and the highest lake,  Total Area equals 3,339.72 sq miles

Cook County is home to three national protected areas:
Grand Portage National Monument
Superior National Forest
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Cook County include:
 Grand Marais     Lutsen Mountains
 Gunflint Trail      Superior Hiking Trail
 Grand Portage 

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