By: Rusty Brooks
The New Post reported exclusively that the number of state citizens who have received Medicaid has skyrocketed during the COVID pandemic.
The Post reported:
The soaring enrollment — spurred by job and income loss — exploded by nearly 1.5 million claimants statewide since the pandemic hit, the figures show.
In January 2020, about 6.1 million of the state’s 19.8 million residents were enrolled in the program. That’s nearly 40 percent of the Empire State’s 19.8 million residents.
Add in other state health programs, from Child Health Plus to the Essential Plan, and it comes to 8.4 million New Yorkers, or 42 percent of the population, getting aid, the Empire Center reports.
This is a negative statistic and proves incredible rising poverty in the state.
Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with low income in the United States, providing free health insurance to 74 million low-income and disabled people (23% of Americans) as of 2017, as well as paying for half of all U.S. births in 2019. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments and managed by the states, with each state currently having broad leeway to determine who is eligible for its implementation of the program. As of 2017, the total annual cost of Medicaid was just over $600 billion, of which the federal government contributed $375 billion and states an additional $230 billion.
States are not required to participate in the program, although all have since 1982. In general, Medicaid recipients must be U.S. citizens or qualified non-citizens, and may include low-income adults, their children, and people with certain disabilities. Along with Medicare, Tricare, and ChampVA, Medicaid is one of the four government sponsored medical insurance programs in the United States. Medicaid, along with Medicare, are administered by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in Baltimore, Maryland, summarized by Annual Review of Public Health.
The Post editorial Board points out:
New York has long been a national leader, both in terms of the number of enrollees and how much it spends on them — around $75 billion last year, including federal, state and local funds. And as the Empire Center also notes, more New Yorkers above the poverty line qualify for Medicaid than those under it. Even as New York’s poverty rate declined, its Medicaid rolls grew by 1.4 million from 2010 to 2019.
Big Apple residents on the Medicaid rolls increased by more than 1 million over the past decade, the Post reported.
“Due to enrollment of individuals who lost their employment or had lower income because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicaid enrollment is expected to grow to 7,594,000 individuals by March 2022, an increase of 633,000 individuals from March 2021,” the DOH report said.
The state’s mammoth $82.5 billion Medicaid program is by far the most costly in the nation. The costs are split between the federal, state and local governments.