December 7, 2011
Gov. Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team released its final recommendations to overhaul the public health insurance program, including a proposal to integrate Medicaid and Medicare for people who qualify for both.
"A waiver allowing dual-eligible persons to enroll in a jointly funded program would expand the health benefits and savings of these programs," said Terri Smith-Caronia, Housing Works Vice President for New York Advocacy and Public Policy. "Housing Works applauds this proposed change to Medicaid in New York."
The MRT cites both an increase in savings and potentially better health outcomes as the reason for the proposed change. DOH estimates that people who are dual eligible make up about 45% of Medicaid ($23.4B) and approximately 41% of Medicare ($11.3B) spending.
There are currently 700,000 New Yorkers who are eligible for both programs (due to age and disability) with 42% of all dual eligibles being people of color (compared to only 16% of Medicare-only beneficiaries). Many people with HIV are enrolled in both programs due to the numbers of people with HIV who are low-income, have disease-related disabilities, and/or who are among the increasing numbers of seniors with HIV.
While this portion of the proposal will likely benefit people with HIV in NYS, Housing Works will continue to fight for other provisions left of out of the proposal, including coverage for transgender health issues.
To read the full proposal for overhauling New York State's Medicaid system, download the pdf here.