Medicaid spending on the elderly rose five times faster in New York than in other states during the most recent five-year period for which data are available, according to a report issued by the Empire Center.
Between 1999 and 2004, New York’s Medicaid spending on the elderly rose 55 percent, while the rate of increase in other states was just 9 percent, the report says. At the end of the period, New York’s spending of $27,200 per elderly recipient was 142 percent more than the average for other states.
The report, which opens a multi-part Medicaid In Depth series, shows that the elderly make up just 7.5 percent of all New Yorkers on Medicaid but drive 25 percent of the state’s Medicaid budget. The Empire State spends an average $20,750 per elderly Medicaid recipient on inpatient, nursing home, home-health and personal care. Other states, meanwhile, spend an average $6,860 per elderly Medicaid recipient for the same services. The Empire Center study shows that if New York had the same average spending on the elderly as other states, its Medicaid costs would be almost $4.9 billion less.