County says state owes $1.6 million in Medicaid reimbursements

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 August 2021 at 8:53 am

ALBION – Orleans County is calling on the state to pay $1.6 million that Orleans says it is owed in Medicaid reimbursements from April 2016 to April 2020.

The county contends it is due the money, which are federal funds passed down to the state, as part of a provision in the Affordable Care Act with the federal government upping the Medicaid matching share. That has saved the state billions of dollars, the Orleans County Legislature stated in a resolution.

Those savings should then be shared with counties, which pay a local share towards Medicaid, county legislators said.

The state has a methodology where 80 percent of the increased federal funds should go to counties. However, the state has last reconciled with the counties in the state’s 2015-16 fiscal year.

The New York State Association of Counties estimates the state owes $800 million to all of the counties and New York City through withheld Medicaid reimbursements.

“By not providing these federal funds it requires counties and New York City to reserve funds locally to make up for the loss, meaning local taxes have been kept higher than they need to be over multiple years, or local services had to be scaled back or eliminated,” county legislators stated in a resolution.

Legislators called on the state to take immediate steps to release the funds, and to provide timely notice to counties of the coming year’s Medicaid costs. The resolution from the County Legislature was sent to the Governor’s Office and the State Legislature.