WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, New York, recently reported that the Cuomo administration is budgeting $70 billion for Medicaid in the state budget for fiscal year 2019. This includes funding from the federal government, resulting in an increase of $1.7 billion (or 2.5 percent) over last year. In addition, the budget will appropriate $153.3 billion for the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), with $142 billion slated for Medicaid through FY 2020.
As part of the governor’s plan, the state would assume the Medicaid costs that are usually paid for by the counties, saving local governments a total of $3.3 billion for FY 2019, according to the Albany Times-Union. In addition, the governor announced that, in an effort to rein in Medicaid costs, he will continue to implement the spending cap that was enacted during fiscal year 2012. The cap will be connected to the 10-year rolling average of the Medical Consumer Price Index, which is estimated to be 3.2%. The Times-Union reported that Cuomo will implement a series of taxes and fees to fund Medicaid and other programs.
Although the federal government has provided Medicaid funding for the state, it cut $3.6 billion from the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital Program (MDSHP), which provides funding to safety net hospitals that provide care to Medicaid recipients and the uninsured. According to a letter from NYC Health + Hospitals, the cuts will mean the organization will stand to lose $380 million, affecting 1 million New Yorkers who rely on the city’s health care system.
A recent report from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University found that, due to these cuts, the state could face up to an estimated $1.14 billion in lost revenue and nearly 4,900 jobs lost in the health care sector. “The harm to patients and communities could be especially serious in states that have not expanded Medicaid or those that have higher levels of uninsurance, since displaced CHC [community health centers] patients who are uninsured will have fewer options for health care,” the report stated.
Medicaid provides health care coverage for more than 6 million New Yorkers, two-thirds of whom rely on it to cover long-term care expenses, including the costs of nursing homes. If you are unsure if you qualify for Medicaid and what it covers, speak to an experienced Medicaid professional. The consultants at P&P Medicaid Consulting can help to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible while still retaining your Medicaid benefits. Call P&P Medicaid Consulting at (516) 541-4770.