How Would You Change Medicaid to Save Money, Keep Services?

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closeup red heart rubber with stethoscope medical instrument on vintage white wood table for love memorial or take care and treat heart disease for strength of health with spaceThe public is invited to comment on proposed changes to the state’s Medicaid program under the budget for the 2021 fiscal year.

The New York State Medicaid Redesign Team II is scheduled to hold the second of a series of statewide forums from noon to 3 p.m., Feb. 18, at the downtown campus of Monroe Community College, 321 State St. The forum is schedule for High Falls A & B Auditorium. Registration begins at 11 a.m.

A live webcast of this forum meeting will be available at health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/mrt2/

The redesign of Medicaid started in 2011 when the state faced a $10 billion deficit and the state’s share of Medicaid spending was set to grow by a rate of 13%, which was deemed unsustainable.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo convened the Medicaid Redesign Team to develop reforms to provide stability to the program, according to the governor’s office. The centerpiece to these reforms was the ability to manage Medicaid spending growth first to no more than 4% and now to no more than 3% annually. The reforms were necessary to allow the state to expand the Medicaid program and provide healthcare coverage to 95% percent of New Yorkers, a record high.

The plan worked and for six years New York’s spending on Medicaid increased at half the national average, saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

Cuomo is reconvening the Medicaid Redesign Team to identify $2.5 billion in savings to secure for years to come. The governor’s budget also would renew partnership with local governments to identify savings in the Medicaid program, according to the proposal.

Medicaid is paid for by the federal government and the states. Eligibility rules can differ by state.