Medicaid

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is pushing for a new tax-advantaged savings account that will help families with disabilities. Schumer visited Syracuse to offer support to families that are looking for passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience, or ABLE, Act.

March 31 was the busiest day for New York's new health insurance marketplace. It was also the final day of the six month open enrollment period.

Almost 470,000 people visited the site and 39,000 signed up on that last day, according to the state's exchange, to bring the total to 926,000 enrolled.

Those newly covered signed up for a combination of the expanded federal Medicaid program, Child Health Plus, or a private provider.

The exchange is crediting its early success in enrollment with a functioning website, something the federal exchange was plagued with.

http://www.cortlandtransit.8m.net/

It’s a drizzly day in Cortland. Joyce Dowd is leaning against the bus stop shelter in front of the courthouse waiting for the number 5.

Today’s like every day – Dowd catches the 2:30 bus to head about 15 miles down the road.  

"My daughter lives at the trailer park there," says Dowd. "But I go to Cincinnatus because she works at the dollar store and I go out there and see her a lot.”

There's only a week left in the enrollment period for people to sign up to get health care through the Affordable Care Act. But there’s been a steady flow of central New Yorkers signing up for insurance policies through the New York exchanges in advance of that deadline.

ACR Health in Syracuse has been helping people in a nine-county area sign on to plans. Community Health Director Steve Wood says things have been going well so far, with 3,500 people covered by health insurance who weren’t before.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The Oswego County Legislature is joining several other counties across New York to oppose Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed property tax freeze plan. They voted to support another option proposed by the New York State Association of Counties, to eliminate the cost of state funded mandates instead. The final vote was 16 to 8, with 1 absentee.

People who are finding it difficult to pay for a health insurance policy offered through New York sate’s health care exchanges, may find a more affordable plan, if a proposal in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget goes through.

The governor’s proposed spending plan would allow New York to offer what’s called a "basic health care plan," according to Mary Clark, regional director of Citizen Action League of New York.

“That would really opens the doors to provide coverage at extremely low cost to families at 200 percent of poverty,” she said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is starting a new push for his property tax freeze plan, while counties in the state say they have a better idea which could result in lower property taxes in New York for even longer.

Cuomo has begun a new campaign to promote his multi-part property tax freeze plan. It’s aimed at enlisting the aid of the public to help convince the legislature. A video features average homeowners and advocacy groups endorsing his plan.

“Lower our property taxes,” say various people identified as homeowners and standing in front of suburban looking homes.

The American population is rapidly aging, and this has enormous implications for our health care system.  Among other challenges, there are fewer workers contributing to Medicare and Medicaid, relative to the population using those programs.  On this week’s edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Geriatric specialist Dr. Sharon Brangman about the trends in aging, the special health care needs of the elderly, and the ways that our medical system does, and does not, respond to them. 

Ambulance services throughout New York state are at risk of losing millions of dollars in federal reimbursements as a plan is set to expire without congressional action.

Ambulances get paid by Medicaid and Medicare less than it costs to respond to emergencies from patients on those insurance plans, but one-year programs by Congress have boosted those rates. The Senate Finance Committee has approved a longer-term extension on reimbursements. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., says he wants a five-year guarantee.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

New York has been labeled a "leading" state for effective use of cost-benefit analysis in a new study from the Pew-MacArthur Results First initiative. That means New York is doing a better job of making sure tax dollars are spent well, than other states.

Cost benefit analysis is determining the return on an investment. In this case  it's determining how much the taxpayer benefits from each public dollar spent.

How New Yorkers will fare under the Affordable Care Act

Jul 12, 2013

The Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, is one of the largest government programs begun in recent years. Along with that size, has come a lot of confusion about how it will effect medical services. As part of a series of community forums on health care, WRVO recently brought together a panel of experts to discuss how government spending affects health care in upstate New York.

The agency that has helped victims of HIV/AIDS for the past 30 years in central New York will soon be taking on a new responsibility. AIDS Community Resources will be a foot soldier in a revamped Medicaid system in New York state.

In the next month or so, ARC will begin offering case management services for Medicaid eligible individuals who don't necessarily have AIDS, but who have any chronic health issue.

It'll mean a name change for AIDS Community Resources, but more importantly, Executive Director Michael Crinnen says it will allow the agency do what it does best -- coordinate care for sufferers of a chronic disease, and hopefully keeping them out of the emergency room.

The Civil Service Employees Association, or CSEA, is currently involved in several law suits across New York state with counties, including Onondaga County, that are trying to get out of the business of running nursing homes. Now Ontario County may now face legal action from the union over its decision to put its county-run nursing home on the market.

Even though state lawmakers announced a budget agreement Wednesday, they spent the day Thursday trying to pin down details and print the bills in time to be through over the weekend.

More and more people across the country are dying from Alzheimer's disease -- and central New York is not immune to the trend.

No state spends more on Medicaid than New York, earning it the nickname of the Cadillac of Medicaid programs. But that may soon end. One of the reasons the state spends $54 billion a years on the federal health care program for the poor, are 31 optional services that the state can sign on for -- ranging from transportation, to prescription drugs, to private nurses.

One of the areas of disagreement in the state budget centers on funding for services for New York’s developmentally disabled people. 

With just three weeks and one day to go before a state budget deadline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders met to assess how far they have to go to reach a deal.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he will make several changes to his budget using 30 day amendments, including imposing a teacher evaluation plan on New York City, and cutting the cost of hunting licenses.

Some of the larger hospitals in New York state are worried about one aspect of the Affordable Care Act: academic medical centers are slated to lose millions of dollars in a particular kind of Medicaid payment over the next few years.

New York state's attack on ballooning Medicaid costs has started with a program that offers coordinated care for certain Medicaid patients.  State Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson says the program called Health Homes, is aimed at the people who have the most complex Medicaid charts.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s aides announced Monday they are asking the federal government for a Medicaid waiver that they say will help make the state a “national model” for health care.