The balance of unspent money in the Essential Plan Trust Fund ballooned to a new high of $1.2 billion as of March 31, records from the comptroller's office show. The surplus more than tripled since the same time last year – even as the Trump administration disrupted federal aid for the program, which provides health coverage to low-income New Yorkers, and the Cuomo administration diverted $635 million in Essential Plan funds to subsidize struggling hospitals.
The state's Essential Plan has amassed a nine-figure surplus due to unexpectedly generous federal funding, records from the Office of the State Comptroller show.
Health coverage gains under the Affordable Care Act were concentrated where they were needed most—among lower-income groups and in the five boroughs of New York City—recently released Census Bureau data show.
It turns out the state is receiving way more federal aid than it needs to pay for the program—to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year—thanks to an out-of-whack formula in the Affordable Care Act.
Here’s another health care cut that Albany can stop worrying about: Despite losing $1 billion in federal funding, the state’s Essential Plan is actually expected to run a hefty surplus—which the Cuomo administration is using to plug budget holes.
After many dire warnings about cuts to health care in Washington, it’s worth noting that federal funding for the state’s massive Medicaid program is still on track to go up, not down, in the year ahead.
Governor Cuomo’s budget makes no major change in the Essential Plan—a low-cost state-sponsored health plan—despite the loss of almost $1 billion in federal aid.
Federal officials have reportedly confirmed that they are cutting off a major portion of funding for New York’s Essential Plan, opening a roughly $1 billion hole in the state budget and raising new doubts about the future of a rapidly growing health insurance option for the working poor.