Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 9, 2013

New York hopes to add 500,000 residents to Medicaid

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The 2010 federal Affordable Care Act calls for expanding Medicaid eligibility and establishing state insurance exchanges with help from federal subsidies.

New York now provides Medicaid for single adults up to the poverty line, about $12,000 a year for an individual. That will rise in 2014 and is expected to add 75,000 people to the program.

Under Family Health Plus, its Medicaid-expansion program, the state now covers parents up to 150 percent of the poverty line, or $37,000 for a family of three. That is expected to drop to 138 percent next year as that program ends, but a Cuomo administration proposal will grandfather in about 36,000 adults enrolled at the higher threshold.

Benjamin said there are probably another 36,000 people in that income group who are not enrolled and who could be left out next year.

"The big issue is affordability," where the insurance exchange may still be too expensive for lower-income residents in this high-cost state, she said.

At the same time, New York is expected to get up to $2.5 billion more in federal reimbursement for the overhaul.

Total federal, state and county Medicaid spending is tentatively budgeted to rise from nearly $54 billion this year to $57.6 billion for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Big Red Number 5.1M Number of New Yorkers enrolled in Medicaid -- about a quarter of the state's residents.

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