Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, Chairmen Brady and Walden, and Representatives Neal and Pallone:
We, the undersigned organizations representing Medicare Advantage Dual-eligible Special Needs Plans, health care providers, and advocates, are writing to urge Congress to permanently authorize the Medicare Advantage Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP) program this year. D-SNPs play an important role in delivering and coordinating Medicare and Medicaid benefits for dual-eligible beneficiaries and tailor care management, provider interventions, and partnerships with community-based organizations to the unique needs of their dual-eligible enrollees. We believe that this program, in existence for over a decade, has demonstrated its vital role in serving the dual-eligible population. Congress should finally give this program the long-term stability that states, plans, and beneficiaries need.
As you know, D-SNPs have been reauthorized several times with bipartisan support, but through a series of short-term extensions. As it stands, the program’s authorization expires at the end of 2018. Full integration of Medicare and Medicaid benefits through the D-SNPs’ contracts with states or between D-SNPs and managed long-term care services and supports (MLTSS) plans requires intensive work and collaboration spanned across multiple years. Short-term reauthorizations impede states and plans from entering longer-term partnerships and making investments in integration by creating uncertainty and questions surrounding Congress’ support of the program. To provide stability for states, plans, and the nearly 2 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in D-SNPs, we believe that Congress should, in the best case, permanently authorize D-SNPs or, at a minimum provide a long-term reauthorization of no less than seven years.