February 13, 2018
The National MLTSS Health Plan Association released a press statement today commending Congress and President Trump on passing and signing into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which includes legislation permanently authorizing Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans (SNPs) and promoting integration of Medicare with Medicaid services to improve the quality of services and supports for persons with functional limitations.
Special needs plans (SNPs), including dually-eligible special needs plans, were set to expire at the end of this year. Legislation put forth by the House Committee on Ways and Means and Committee on Energy and Commerce permanently authorized SNPs, will allow MA plans to provide benefits that are more responsive to the needs of chronically-ill enrollees, and will improve the coordination between Medicare and Medicaid for dually-eligible individuals.
Dr. Larry Atkins, Executive Director of the Association, stated, “As evidenced by the passage of this legislation, both Congress and the President are truly committed to improving the care experience and outcomes for persons with complex care needs and slowing the growth in medical spending. This legislation is a key step forward and will help advance models that fully integrate Medicare and Medicaid benefits by working to align coverage for persons eligible for both programs.”
The 10 million individuals dually-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid account for a disproportionate share of the costs of these two programs. Within Medicare, 20 percent of the Medicare population that is dually-eligible accounts for 34 percent of all Medicare spending. In Medicaid, the 15 percent of beneficiaries who are dually-eligible accounts for 33 percent of all spending. Permanently authorizing these successful programs for high-risk, high-need beneficiaries and promoting more complete integration of the benefits is a big step forward for beneficiaries with the most complex care needs and their families.