America’s Health Insurance Plans is asking Congress to lift the constraints it has placed on Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans.

The Medicare Advantage SNP program gives private insurers a chance to start and managed subsidized health plans aimed at Medicare beneficiaries who face extra difficulties.

Some of the plans work with beneficiaries who are coping with expensive conditions, such as kidney failure, while others work with beneficiaries who live in nursing homes or qualify for Medicaid benefits.

Today, the Special Needs Program is set to end in 2009, and the government has set a moratorium on new SNPs.

AHIP, Washington, today released a report describing the success of the plans in an effort to persuade Congress to ease the current program constraints.

Community Catalyst, Boston, and some other consumer advocacy groups have argued that Congress needs to establish quality measures for SNPs and require SNPs to work harder at coordinating Medicare and Medicaid benefits for plan members who qualify for both programs.