Individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid are among the most vulnerable to high rates of morbidity and mortality as a result of COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred rapid responses from states with programs that integrate care for dually eligible individuals in partnership with their integrated health plans.

During this webinar, made possible through support from Arnold Ventures, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) and Speire Healthcare Strategies partnered to share findings from interviews with states that operate Medicare-Medicaid integrated care programs and health plans that participate in these programs. The webinar also featured perspectives from two integrated health plans and a state that are responding to the needs of their dually eligible populations across institutional and home- and community-based settings. A discussion about policy recommendations to better respond to the needs of dually eligible individuals as the COVID-19 pandemic persists and Q&A from the audience followed.


I. Welcome and Introduction

Speakers: Michelle Herman Soper, Vice President, Integrated Care, CHCS and Arielle Mir, Vice President, Health Care (Complex Care) Arnold Ventures

M. Soper welcomed participants and provide an overview of the importance of integrated care models to improve care for individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. A. Mir shared key priorities for Arnold Ventures in the complex care space during this challenging time.

II. Responses to COVID-19 in Programs for Dually Eligible Individuals

Speaker: Tom Betlach, Partner, Speire Healthcare Strategies

T. Betlach shared insights into challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to states and health plans serving dually eligible individuals. He described key policy flexibilities and program changes that states and health plans have adopted and offer recommendations to help states best respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

III. Supporting Dually Eligible Individuals in Facilities Amid COVID-19

Speakers: Michelle Bentzien-Purrington, Vice President, Managed Long-Term Services and Supports, Molina Healthcare

M. Bentzien-Purrington described how Molina has served its dually eligible members in facilities during the pandemic and key policy considerations to support plans’ efforts moving forward.

IV. Supporting Dually Eligible Individuals in the Community Amid COVID-19

Speakers: Laura Chaise, Vice President, Long-Term Services and Supports and Medicare-Medicaid Plans, Centene

L. Chaise discussed how Centene has responded to pressing workforce challenges and other issues in serving their dually eligible members residing in the community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

V. State Reaction

Speakers: Sue Kvendru, Coordinator, Special Needs Purchasing and Gretchen Ulbee, Manager, Special Needs Purchasing, Minnesota Department of Human Services

S. Kvendru and G. Ulbee provided a state policymaker perspective about how states and plans can best support their dually eligible individuals during this time.

VI. State and Health Plan Round Table

Moderator: Tom Betlach, Partner, Speire Healthcare Strategies

T. Betlach facilitated a conversation with the state and plan speakers about how policy and programmatic changes that are being implemented in response to COVID-19 might impact care models for dually eligible individuals moving forward.

VII. Moderated Q&A

Moderator: Michelle Herman Soper, Vice President of Integrated Care, CHCS