WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Wednesday introduced the bipartisan Comprehensive Care for Dual Eligible Individuals Act.

The legislation would support states that offer integrated, coordinated care options for those who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare, ensuring they receive the full benefits and quality care they deserve.

More than 12 million Americans are dually eligible for both programs, according to a Wednesday news release from Portman’s office.

“I am pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Senator Brown to provide states with the ability to offer full-benefit dual eligible beneficiaries the option to have their needs met through one program,” said Portman. “This legislation will set a higher quality of care for millions of Americans, while promoting integration of these siloed programs. I encourage all of my colleagues in the Senate to support this important legislation.”

“Currently, people eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare have to deal with a fragmented, confusing system, and too many can fall through the cracks,” said Brown. “This bipartisan legislation would help integrate care, make government work better, and improve the health of older Americans and people with disabilities.”

Right now, nearly half of all Americans eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid receive long-term care services and more than half of these beneficiaries have multiple chronic conditions, including mental health diagnoses. In order to receive the care and support they need, they have to deal with two sets of administrative rules and policies, which can lead to duplicated or fragmented care and poor health outcomes, the news release stated.

The Comprehensive Care for Dual Eligible Individuals Act of 2022 would create a new program that states can choose to take up, to integrate the two programs and allow dual-eligible Americans to select the type of coordinated care that works best for them.

“We thank Senators Brown and Portman for their new federal legislation which would give individuals eligible for Medicare and Medicaid the option to receive all their care in a more coordinated way that is easier to navigate. It holds promise as a vehicle to help states like Ohio in their work to improve the quality of health care for low-income older adults and people with disabilities and give them the supports they need to live in their communities,” said Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director, Justice in Aging.

“Far too many people who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid experience fragmented care and disjointed systems. The bipartisan Comprehensive Care for Dual Eligible Individuals Act would allow states to better integrate these critical programs while ensuring key beneficiary protections, like appeal and enrollment rights. In so doing, this important bill could meaningfully improve care for older adults and people with disabilities — in Ohio and across the country. We applaud Senators Brown and Portman for their leadership,” said Frederic Riccardi, President, Medicare Rights Center.

Specifically, the Comprehensive Care for Dual Eligible Individuals Act would provide states with the opportunity to establish programs to integrate care for dual eligible individuals, allowing beneficiaries to choose a single program that can provide for their medical, long-term care, social, and behavioral needs.

The legislation is supported by a variety of stakeholder organizations, including the Commonwealth Care Alliance, Community Catalyst, Health Plan of San Mateo, Independent Living Systems, Justice in Aging, L.A. Care Health Plan, Medicare Rights Center, Molina, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.