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Governor Hochul Proposed Budget Will Expand Eligibility for Medicaid for Disabled/Age 65+/ Blind (DAB) to the MAGI Levels of the Affordable Care Act

21 Jan, 2022

Gov. Hochul's proposed NYS budget for FY 2023  released on Jan. 19, 2022  carries out the promise she made in her State of the State message  delivered on Jan. 5, 2022.  The Governor's proposed budget, if enacted, will make a groundbreaking expansion of Medicaid eligibility  "so that low-income New Yorkers age 65 and up, as well as those with disabilities, are able to maintain Medicaid eligibility after they become eligible for Medicare. This coverage expansion will eliminate the resource eligibility test and raise the income level to 138 percent of the federal poverty level for these populations for these populations. These changes will enable extremely low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities to easily maintain secondary Medicaid coverage when their Medicare eligibility begins — significantly reducing health disparities across the State,reducing unnecessary eligibility redeterminations, and increase administrative efficiencies."  Plan at page 35. 

These changes would be effective January 1, 2023.  

Read NYLAG's statement applauding the Governor's momentous position here.  

Read NY Focus article Jan. 7, 2021 - Hochul Proposes Medicaid Expansion for Seniors and Disabled, Marking a Shift From Past Governors

Read the proposed amendment of the NY Social Services Law - see 

In August 2021, a advocacy letter was sent  to Governor  Hochul by New York Legal Assistance Group, along with Medicaid Matters New York, the Medicare Rights Center, Community Service Society of New York, The Legal Aid Society, New York StateWide Senior Action Council, and over 50 other organizations that asked her to expand Medicaid eligibility for older adults and people with disabilities in the 2022-23 Executive Budget.  These groups were left out of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

  • NYLAG and the coalition sent a follow up letter  to the Governor in December 14, 2021.

The Governor heard our message and agrees that it's time for New York to catch up to California and other states that have equalized access for seniors and people with disabilities. 

Under the Governor's proposed changes, people like Sonya will no longer fall off the "Medicaid cliff" and lose Medicaid when they lose "MAGI" eligibility under the ACA because they get Medicare or turn 65.

  • At age 64, Sonya has Medicaid with Social Security of $1481/mo. and $40,000 in life savings. 

  • But when she turns 65,  under current rules, she will have to "spend down"  $527month on medical expenses AND reduce her assets to $16,800 to qualify for Medicaid.   She needs all of her income to pay bills, and her savings for emergencies.

  • Had she owned her home or retirement funds, these would not count as an asset under current rules  -- but people of color are less likely than white people to own a home or have retirement funds.   

  • Under Gov. Hochul's plan, Sonya will be able to keep full Medicaid!! 

The Governor's State of the State plan for 2022 adopts 2 out of 3 points of our proposal:

  1. RAISES the Medicaid income eligibility level for people 65 and over and people with disabilities to 138% of the federal poverty level (FPL);

  2. ELIMINATES  the asset limit for people 65 and over and people with disabilities; and

  3. Not yet adopted in Governor's proposal -- Raising the eligibility level for the Medicare Savings Program from 100% to 200% of the federal poverty level for QMB and to 250% FPL for SLIMB and QI-1. 

Organizations can still endorse the proposal at this link.

Look for updates here.

See more changes proposed in the Governor's State of the State message here.


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