Legislative Priorities

Coverage 4 All

A campaign of Health Care for All New York (HCFANY), led by Make the Road New York and the New York Immigration Coalition

FY2020 Policy and Budget Priorities

Recommendation

  1. Allocate $532 million to create a state-funded Essential Plan for ALL New Yorkers up to 200% of the federal poverty level who are currently excluded because of their immigration status.

  2. The state should offer state-funded Medicaid coverage to immigrants who are losing their Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by enacting A3316/S1809.

Needs

Essential Plan for Immigrants. New York state elected officials, led by Governor Cuomo, have passionately committed to protecting and supporting immigrant communities under attack from Washington, D.C.  More than 400,000 New Yorkers cannot enroll in health insurance because of their immigration status. But by allocating $532 million New York policymakers can make them eligible for quality, affordable coverage through a state-funded Essential Plan. We estimate that 110,000 of them would enroll. This measure would shore up New York’s historic commitment to immigrants and support the vital economic engine of health care by limiting providers’ and payers’ exposure to uncompensated care costs.

Offer Medicaid to New Yorkers losing TPS. When the Trump Administration announced the cancelation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2017, Governor Cuomo said “New York State believes it has a legal and moral obligation to exhaust every available avenue to protect immigrants and their families by providing comprehensive access to health care, regardless of circumstance.” The state then continued to provide state-funded Medicaid for immigrants even after their DACA expired.

New York should do the same for TPS holders now the Trump Administration is eliminating it for most countries as they come up for renewal. TPS allows people living in the U.S to work with authorization, and to be protected from deportation, if it would be unsafe or inhumane for them to have to return to their country because of a crisis like a war or a hurricane. New Yorkers who lose TPS will also lose their ability to access health insurance unless New York authorizes the continuation of eligibility for state-only funded Medicaid by enacting A3316/S1809.  

Key Points

  • New York has a history of providing coverage to immigrant communities excluded from federal programs. The state should continue to step up where federal policies fall short and lead nationally on immigrant healthcare issues by enacting a state-funded Essential Plan for immigrants.

  • During this time of potential change to our health and immigration landscape, New York can build on its bold leadership for people under threat of losing their immigration status by maintaining state-funded Medicaid eligibility for people losing their Temporary Protected Status.

  • Expanding coverage makes New York’s health care providers more financially sound by reducing the burden of unreimbursed care for uninsured patients, and helps payers by bringing more people into coverage, ensuring they experience less cost shifting.

For additional information, please contact Max Hadler (mhadler@nyic.org), or Becca Telzak (rebecca.telzak@maketheroadny.org)

For a downloadable link, please see Legislative Priorities.