Add comment December 10th, 2005
New York’s Facilitated Enrollment Program – Set To Expire Unless Bush Administration Acts
Under federal law, “facilitated enrollment” for Medicaid is not permitted. However, for a number of years, New York residents have enjoyed a waiver of this prohibition, granted under the Clinton administration. As a result, New York has been the only state in the country where community groups, clinics, and HMO’s have been permitted to assist people in filling out their applications for Medicaid. Unfortunately, this waiver is due to expire on April 1, 2006. New York has asked the federal government to extend the waiver, but it is unclear whether this request will be granted.
Some politicians have argued that facilitated enrollment has increased cheating on Medicaid applications, for example, it has been alleged that HMO employees have counseled people to conceal income in order to qualify for Medicaid. Others argue that cheating is minimal, and that the benefits of the program far outweigh any disadvantages.
Despite criticisms, it is clear that facilitated enrollment in New York helps a great many qualified individuals obtain needed assistance from Medicaid. For many people – even health care professionals – the task of filling out a Medicaid application is daunting. Without facilitated enrollment programs to provide assistance, a large number of New York residents will fail to obtain, or lose, Medicaid assistance to which they are entitled.
For general information about Medicaid and other programs, readers may wish to consult this website: NYC Department for the Aging.
Health Insurance Information Counseling Assistance Program (HICAP)
Cutner & Associates, P.C., assists its clients with Medicaid applications, and many other issues confronted by the elderly or disabled. See our Medicaid Benefits Planning website.