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Medicaid & Related Programs

New York State has a variety of public health insurance programs for low income residents, including regular Medicaid and several specialized Medicaid programs (e.g. Emergency Medicaid, Medicaid with Spend Down, Medicaid Waiver Programs, Medicaid for Working People with Disabilities, Medicare Savings Programs).  On this page, you will find articles and resources authored by the Empire Justice Center intended to help clients access these Medicaid related programs.  You will also find articles about Child Health Plus, the Essential Plan and insurance options for immigrants.   We also encourage you to visit NYHealthAccess, a website co-sponsored by Empire Justice Center, the Legal Aid Society of New York City, and Selfhelp, Inc.  NYHealthAccess will provide you with a comprehensive listing of advocacy materials on New York Medicaid and related programs.



Session Wrap 2017: Access to Medically Necessary Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy
This past session, the Assembly introduced A.7772 (Barrett), which would provide relief from an outdated cap on Medicaid physical, occupational and speech therapy that, for the past five years, has been detrimental to New Yorkers struggling to access care that everyone agrees is medically necessary. Addressing the cap on these therapies has been a priority for Empire Justice Center for the past two legislative sessions. Read More

Session Wrap 2017: New Legislation to Enforce Medical Records Access Rules
A.7842 (Gottfried)/S.6078 (Valesky) will ensure free access to medical records for those applying for Social security and Medicaid benefits, as well as some veteran’s benefits. Read More

Wins and Losses for Health Care in New York's Budget
Community Health Advocates gets a bump, helping New Yorkers cope with the uncertainty and fear that federal threats to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act have created, while a solution to the home health aide shortage remains elusive for upstate. Read More

Medicaid & Related Programs: Article


Sale of CenterLight Medicaid plan worries consumer advocates
A year after settling a civil fraud case for almost $47 million, CenterLight Health System has sold its Medicaid-managed long-term-care Select plan to the for-profit Centers Health Care, based in the Bronx. Read More

Medicare Counseling: A Lifeline We Must Sustain
For the clients NYLAG and other advocates for the poor serve, SHIPs are a particularly critical resource. Medicare is a great benefit, but it is expensive. Low-income people would never be able to afford Medicare without expert assistance to obtain the vital subsidies they need to reduce costs. Read More

Medicaid & Related Programs: In the News


Empire Justice Comments on Strengthening Consumer Protections in the Affordable Care Act
Read our comments to HHS, which were submitted in conjunction with several state and national partners, on how reducing regulatory burdens is a thin disguise for reducing much-needed consumer protections. Read More

Empire Justice Memo of Support: Ensure Access to Medically Necessary Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy
For the past five years, New York’s outdated physical, occupational, and speech therapy cap in Medicaid has been detrimental to New Yorkers struggling to access care that everyone agrees is medically necessary. Because of the cap, New Yorkers have endured pain that could have been avoided, lost functioning that allowed them to live independently, and lost wages. Read More

Medicaid & Related Programs: Policy Advocacy


New York’s Exchange Portal: A Gateway to Coverage for Immigrants
Health Insurance Exchanges have the potential to eliminate many existing barriers to health insurance coverage for low-income workers facing reductions in salaries and benefits. Immigrant families, whose incomes tend to be lower to begin with, have been particularly hard hit by escalating health care costs. National figures from 2010 indicate that 75% of workers in noncitizen families were in traditional blue collar jobs, as compared to 60% of workers from citizen families. The average median annual income for noncitizens was $25,000, roughly half the amount for citizen households. In New York, home to 4.3 million immigrants, noncitizens are over three times as likely as citizens to lack health insurance. Read More


The Affordable Care Act: Impact on New York State
An overview of the Affordable Care Act's approach to reforming the health care system. Read More


Medicaid & Related Programs: Publications


May 2012 Issue of Policy Matters
As the end of New York’s 2012 legislative session approaches, Empire Justice Center advocates are switching into high gear, working hard to advance legislation that benefits lower income New Yorkers and to halt bills that will harm New York consumers, Medicaid recipients and providers. Read about our priorities for the end of the state legislative session. Read More

Legal Services Journal - Fall 2011
The Fall 2011 Legal Services Journal reports on a wide range of poverty law topics. This issue provides analysis addressing the connection between domestic violence and a victim's increased need, not only for physical protection, but also for privacy safeguards. Also featured in this issue are articles on immigration, language access in hospital care, Medicaid, Food Stamps, foreclosure prevention services program and look at wage theft and the impact on communities and forging a path to wage justice. Thanks to all of our authors for their contributions to this issues of the Legal Services Journal. Read More


Helping Your Patients Access Medicaid
This training is designed for staff at community health centers across New York, but will be useful for staff at any community based organization that helps clients access health care services. Participants will learn about the public health care programs available to clinic patients, and strategies that have proven successful for overcoming common barriers to eligibility - including spend down, spousal refusal and pooled trusts. Read More

Public Assistance Issues for Teens and Young Adults / Housing Advocacy to Prevent Children from Languishing in Foster Care
This presentation will address some of the benefits and assistance available to teenagers, young adults and young families, approximately ages 16-22. Benefit areas covered will include cash assistance, Food Stamps, Medicaid and housing resources for teens and young adults who are living on their own or aging out of foster care. Read More