Uncertainty reigned over the last few months regarding the budget situation for the New York Medicaid system. Fortunately, an agreement has been reached which should provide more long-term stability and the ease the minds of both policymakers and NY residents alike.
The underlying problem was claims by the federal government that over a period of years New York engaged in improper billing practices. The mistakes led to billions of dollars being paid to the state that should not have been paid. After discovering the problem, federal officials initially claimed that the money needed to be re-paid. All told, this would amount to nearly $15 billion being drained from state coffers that otherwise would provide support to local residents. No matter which way you slice it, losing those funds would hurt New York Medicaid participants, including seniors.
Fortunately, a settlement has been reached that will spare the state the burden of repaying those billions. Per the terms of an agreement with federal officials. New York will be able to reinvest the money back into the NY Medicaid system that otherwise would have gone back to the federal government.
The terms of the agreement show that the money will be used in various ways, including developing long-term reforms in the program. The resources will help struggling hospitals, various health care providers, and other Medicaid participants.
A tentative deal of this nature was reached earlier this year, but it was finalized only this week. The deal allows the state to save $8 billion in the first year, with savings continued over the next five years totaling $17 billion. To put that into perspective, the entire New York Medicaid program currently costs about $58 billion each year--more than any other state in the country.
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The financial health of this vital program is of obvious importance for many New Yorkers. That includes seniors and their family members who rely on the New York Medicaid system for long-term care in nursing homes and via at-home caregivers. The support that is provided to seniors is ultimately dependent on available financial resources, and so this agreement is welcome news.
If you have questions about applying for Medicaid in New York and saving assets during the process, seek out legal professionals. The NY Medicaid attorneys at our firm have helped thousands of local families navigate the process, secure benefits, and protect property in the process.