New York continues to lead the way in providing comprehensive, quality health care for all New Yorkers, said Speaker Heastie. Despite the fiscal challenges we faced, this years budget provides funding for the critical health care services and programs our communities rely on.
Health care is a human right and the Assembly Majority is committed to providing high-quality, accessible care, said Assemblymember Gottfried. We have worked to protect and strengthen programs to provide health care, especially for needy New Yorkers, despite serious fiscal limitations.
Providing accessible healthcare options is the least we can do to keep our communities healthy, said Assembly Insurance Committee Chair Kevin Cahill. The insurance provisions and clarifications included in this years budget will ensure that New Yorkers continue to have access to the health care they need.
Although the state is faced with limited resources, the Assembly remains committed to making sure New Yorkers have access to the vital services they need. The approved budget restores $550 million in Medicaid cuts, including $222 million for a two percent rate increase for hospitals and a 1.5 percent increase for nursing homes, $190.2 million for the 0.8 percent across-the-board Medicaid claims cuts, and $137.8 million for the hospital Indigent Care Pool.
The plan also provides $31 million for the restoration of pharmacy benefits, including $18.7 million to preserve prescriber prevails provisions, $12.3 million to maintain coverage for over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and prevent copay increases. The budget plan would also enable fair drug pricing by prohibiting pharmacy benefit managers from engaging in spread pricing and by adding additional transparency.
The spending plan includes an additional $25.3 million to reject the $17.5 million proposal to cap deductible and copayment reimbursement for ambulance and psychologist services for individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid at the Medicaid rate, and the $7.75 million proposal to eliminate the Population Health Improvement Program.
The budget also includes $5.9 million to protect community spouses from impoverishment.
The budget provides a $16 million increase for enhanced safety net hospitals, for a total of $66 million.
The plan also expands programs that address chronic diseases, including the National Diabetes program, asthma management and medically tailored meals.
Other critical public health investments include:
- $16 million in contingency funding for potential changes to Federal Family Planning grants;
- $4 million for the prevention of maternal mortality;
- $3.82 million for School Based Health Centers;
- $500,000 for the Nurse-Family Partnership program; and
- $500,000 for the Diversity in Medicine program.
The plan also expedites the award of $300 million in capital funding to support health care facilities.
The approved budget will require three cycles of in-vitro fertilization in the large group market and require fertility preservation treatments in all markets. The plan will also clarify provisions of the Comprehensive Contraceptive Care Act that was passed as a standalone bill earlier this session and will codify the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act within New York law.
Infertility is a heart breaking medical condition that affects countless New York families each year. In-vitro fertilization has long been considered the gold standard of care for this disease, but an outdated provision of law stood in the way of patients accessing this safe and effective treatment. I am thrilled that we have finally removed this barrier for patients participating in large-group insurance policies, and that New Yorkers will no longer have to choose between paying exorbitant out-of-pocket medical costs and starting the families they desire, said Assemblymember Aravella Simotas.
Additionally, the spending plan would codify federal behavioral health parity standards, and set forth minimum coverage standards to ensure that New Yorkers have equal access to medical and behavioral health services.