In the United States, the 12 million people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid are among the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. These individuals often have significant medical, behavioral health, and long-term care needs, and face systemic challenges in accessing care — factors that compound their risk of serious illness or death due to COVID-19.

While there has been significant progress over the last decade in the number of dually eligible individuals receiving care through programs that integrate Medicare and Medicaid, today only about one million of this critically at-risk population is served by one of these programs. Continued efforts to develop coordinated, targeted approaches to better support dually eligible individuals is paramount during the pandemic, yet, the heterogeneity of this population requires specialized, targeted, and person-centered interventions to meet the diversity of their needs.

Through support from Arnold Ventures, CHCS is producing a blog series, COVID-19’s Effect on Dually Eligible Populations, that explores the effects of COVID-19 on different dually eligible subpopulations. The series also reflects on the systemic inequities and fragmentation that dually eligible individuals face as they seek to access the care and services they need. CHCS interviewed beneficiary advocates, health plans, providers, and other experts to examine how each population is impacted and explore ways that integrated programs can mitigate the clinical and social consequences of the pandemic.

Read the series: