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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

Advocates Urge Age Cap Removal on NY Medicaid Buy-In Program

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Monday, March 20, 2023   

New York disability-rights advocates are calling for the age cap on the state's Medicaid Buy In Program to be raised or eliminated.

The program is designed for people with disabilities who work and earn more than would be allowable to qualify for regular Medicaid. This ensures people with disabilities won't be at risk of losing vital healthcare coverage, while still earning some income.

The age cap of 65 could cause people to lose coverage they'd need to to get ready for the day.

Heidi Siegfried, health policy director for the Center for the Independence of the Disabled New York, describes the challenges people can face once they reach the program's age limit.

"If they can't get home care, for example," said Siegfried, "like I was saying, if you need home care to help you transfer from your bed to your wheelchair or to help you get showered or to help you dress, you wouldn't even be able to get ready to go to work. You would reach age 65 and not have access to home care, and you would probably have to quit your job."

She said people would have to quit working so they can have access to Medicaid services to ensure they have access to home care.

In New York's 2024 Budget, Gov. Kathy Hochul is allocating $60 million starting in 2025 to expand the program for more people with disabilities to work and still qualify for coverage.

One worry people have is as the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end, Medicaid's continuous coverage protections will end too. This means anyone who aged out of the program during the pandemic will see a loss of coverage once their renewal is up.

But, Siegfried said she is hopeful the age limit will be removed once the upcoming budget passes.

"If people want to keep working up until whenever, and they enjoy their work and they don't want to retire, they should be able to be productive citizens," said Siegfried. "Work can often create meaning in your life, especially for people with disabilities."

She noted that people with disabilities don't have high employment rates in the state, with that possibly correlating to a loss in coverage should they go to work.

According to a 2022 report, there are one million working-age adults with a disability living in New York. But, only 33% are employed, compared with the 74% employment rate for working-age adults across the state.



Disclosure: Center for Independence of the Disabled New York contributes to our fund for reporting on Disabilities. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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