February 2013 Issue
January 30, 2013

Budget would flatline Medicaid

Author: Liza Frenette
Source: NYSUT United
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The article "Budget would flatline Medicaid" in the February issue of NYSUT United might have been confusing. The executive budget proposal regarding Part B reimbursement affects only NYSHIP participants who have Medicare as their primary insurance and who are considered high income. Only the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) to the standard Part B premium paid by high-income Medicare beneficiaries would not be reimbursed. NYSHIP Medicare beneficiaries would continue to have the standard Part B premium reimbursed. This budget provision does not affect Medicare beneficiaries who are not in NYSHIP.

Executive budget proposals to extend the 2 percent across-the-board reductions of Medicaid payments until 2015, and to eliminate the trend factor (cost of living) adjustments for Medicaid provider reimbursement rates are very troubling, NYSUT leaders say.

"We're concerned about how this perpetual pattern of spending reductions will impact the delivery of health care services and programs to our neediest New York state citizens," said NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta, who oversees legislation. It could result in layoffs, and facility closings.

Elimination of the trend factor may also negatively impact the recruitment of talented individuals into the health care profession. The action requires health care facilities to absorb all inflationary increases without any cost-of-living adjustments, Pallotta said.

The budget would also discontinue full reimbursement to seniors in the NYSHIP health care plan for their Medicare Part B premiums.

The state will receive federal funding through the Affordable Care Act to implement the New York Health Benefit Exchange, which NYSUT supported. This allows each state the ability to create marketplaces where health insurers can compete.

NYSUT represents 14,000 health care professionals in public and private health care settings.

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