To coordinate Medicare and Medicaid benefits, multiple states are creating opportunities for dual-eligible beneficiaries to join Medicare Advantage Dual-Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs) and Medicaid plans operated by the same insurer. Tennessee implemented this approach by requiring insurers who offered Medicaid plans to also offer a D-SNP by 2015. Tennessee's aligned D-SNP participation increased from 7% to 24% of dual-eligible beneficiaries aged 65 years and above between 2011 and 2017. Within a county, a 10-percentage-point increase in aligned D-SNP participation was associated with 0.3 fewer inpatient admissions (p = .048), 13.9 fewer prescription drugs per month (p = .048), and 0.3 fewer nursing home users (p = .06) per 100 dual-eligible beneficiaries aged 65 years and older. Increased aligned plan participation was associated with 0.2 more inpatient admissions (p = .004) per 100 dual-eligible beneficiaries younger than 65 years. For some dual-eligible beneficiaries, increasing Medicare and Medicaid managed plan alignment has the potential to promote more efficient service use.
Keywords: delivery reform; dual-eligible beneficiaries; long-term services and supports; managed care.