Officials in Tompkins County are calling for Governor Kathy Hochul to remove her plan to shift $625 million dollars in Medicaid costs to county governments by intercepting eFMAP funds.
Tompkins County says that the 2024 budget impact on taxpayers would be $1.5 million dollars, or equal to a 3% increase in local property tax levy. The county also says for 2023, the impact could be over $600,000 dollars.
Originating from the Affordable Care Act, eFMAP funds were always intended to go to the counties within the state. The Federal government agreed to pass the eFMAP funds to the state and to the counties to cover the cost of nationwide Medicaid coverage to newly eligible populations; New York already had the population covered through state programs.
Governor Hochul proposes to remove the traditional cost-sharing agreement and keep the federal dollars at the state level instead of sharing it with counties. The move is expected to force a higher share of the cost back to counties throughout the state, estimated to be $625 million dollars.
Tompkins County Administrator Lisa Holmes stated, “If the State’s goals are to increase affordability and provide robust services to those in need this is an unwise proposal. Shifting the costs onto counties adds more burden to the local governments that carry out much of the work that the State takes credit for. This would make it more difficult and expensive for us to do that work and will result in increased property taxes, which in-turn impacts affordability.”
A resolution was passed during a Tompkins County Legislature meeting back on February 21st, which was passed unanimously to call on the state to continue to pass the funds through counties.
Cortland County faces a similar budget crisis. Cortland County could face an amount over $700,000 dollars in unbudgeted costs this year alone.