NYSAC Special Bulletin
Between the Legislature and COVID-19, news is breaking at a pace like we’ve never experienced — and it all directly ties to the work New York’s counties are doing. To help keep you as updated as possible, NYSAC will be sending out these periodic “Special Bulletins.” Our goal is to make sure you are getting the latest news that may not be dominating the airwaves, but is critical for you to know as a county leader.
NYSAC Applauds Federal Leaders Directing Funding to Counties
Counties across the state extended their appreciation and gratitude to U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and the New York Congressional Delegation for their efforts to provide vital resources to our communities as they combat the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Crucially for New York counties, H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, passed by the House of Representatives over the weekend, included provisions to preserve the existing eFMAP statutory language and codifies congressional intent to share a portion of these savings with county government.
Enhanced FMAP funds provide the state, counties and New York City hundreds of millions of federal dollars to help cover the cost of health care to those in need through the Medicaid program.
The Senate is expected to pass the bill in the next day or two.
More on the Federal Coronavirus Funding Bill
Despite suggestions that the Federal Coronavirus Funding Bill precludes the state from continuing to manage Medicaid costs through the Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT II), this is not what the federal bill language does.
In fact, the federal government is throwing the state a Medicaid fiscal lifeline of between $5 and $7 billion (depending on how long this crisis lasts). During any quarter that any state accepts this enhanced federal funding, they cannot make the program more restrictive for recipients based on state laws in place as of January 1, 2020.
The entire purpose of the federal enhancement for FMAP is that the federal government is willing to support additional costs for states during a national crisis to prevent state funding cuts in key health programs but only if you maintain service levels during the period of crisis. This has been the federal policy for over a decade.
Governor Issues Public Employee Non-Essential Employee Guidance
On March 16th the Governor announced protocols for public employees reporting to work March 17, 2020. The Governor announced that non-essential State employees are being asked to work from home when practicable and may be assigned to duties outside their normal functions. The Governor also called upon local/county government leaders to reduce at-work employees
by 50% or more
, sending non-essential employees home to work. We anticipate more language via an Executive Order shortly.
Track Your Coronavirus Expenses!