NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Why Does New York Spend So Much On Medicaid?

December 22, 1999

Medicaid spending in New York state is far out of line with every other state's: per capita, it spends at least 50 percent more than in the next worse state (Connecticut).

According to a new report from the Public Policy Institute of New York State, based on 1997 figures (the latest available):

  • New York spends 2.25 times the national average per capita annually -- over $1,300 for every resident in the state.
  • The program pays out benefits for about 3.1 million individuals annually, about 10 percent of the state's population, at an average cost per individual recipient of $7,900.
  • Supporting Medicaid costs the average family of four New Yorkers more than $5,000 per year.

In 1997, Medicaid in New York cost $24.525 billion. By comparison, California and Texas combined, with about three times the population, spend only about 5 percent more for Medicaid than the total for New York. Per patient, New York's hospital costs per patient are $4,200 a year, compared to $2,391 for Texas and California.

Actually, only about two-thirds of Medicaid spending in New York is for traditional Medicaid recipients -- families on welfare, the disabled, low-income and other needy residents. The rest pays for nursing-home care and home health care for the elderly and others -- most of whom were not classified as "needy" until they began to require such intensive, long-term care.

Source: "Medicaid: Wreaking Havoc in Health Care," Special Report, December 1999, Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc., 152 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12210, (518) 465-7511.

For the PPINYS


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