HCFANY's Budget Reform Agenda (Mostly) Adopted!

Posted March, 30 2009 by arianne

The State budget has adopted most of HCFANY’s budget reform proposals, including:

Economic Crisis Coverage. In these difficult times, HCFANY called for easing enrollment into public insurance. The legislature agreed and eliminated the need for face-to-face interviews, the asset test, and the onerous requirement for some applicants to be finger-printed.

FHPlus Expansion Up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).The legislature authorized the state to expand FHPlus up to 200% FPL, provided it gets federal funds to do so. Also, the legislature fixed an old glitch by permitting 19-21 year olds to get coverage at the 150% FPL eligibility level (instead of the old 100% FPL level).

More money for accountable charity care. The legislature passed a deal that would provide more accountable funding to cover hospital and other provider costs of treating the ever-increasing number of uninsured patients who come through their doors. Much of this new funding (unlike the majority of the old authorizations) must be directly traceable to real uninsured patients-a major victory for HCFANY. Hospital funding increased by several hundred million in a new set of pools that is not yet clearly understood. Community clinics funding increased from 55.5 million to 63.5 million, with a requirement to seek a federal match (which would bring total funds to $127 million).

No Premium increases for Medicaid Buy-In Program for working people with disabilities. The legislature successfully turned back the Administration’s efforts to increase premiums for this vulnerable group.

Two proposals HCFANY was disappointed to see:

Funding for cancer screening for uninsured people cut. The legislature cut approximately $8 million from the $29 million spent last year for cancer screenings for uninsured New Yorkers.  The program offers mammograms and Pap tests for women over 40, and colon cancer screening for people over 50 years of age.

Increase in Child Health Plus premiums for moderate income New York families. 

Effective July 1, 2009, the new schedule will be:

  • 0-160% of FPL, no premium – no change
  • 160%-222% of FPL, $9 per child – no change
  • 223%-250% of FPL, $15 per child – no change
  • 251%-300% of FPL, $30 per child-a $10 increase
  • 301%-350% of FPL, $45 per child-a $15 increase
  • 351%-400% of FPL, $60 per child-a $20 increase

All Child Health Plus premiums are capped for families with more than three children.

Read more here:
HCFANY press statement on the budget
Governor’s press release on the budget
Medicaid Matters press release on the budget
NYS Coalition of Prepaid Health Service Plans press statement

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