Cortland County could lose close to $1 million in state healthcare funds

(Photo via Unsplash).

Cortland County Legislature unanimously approved a resolution on Thursday, that calls on Gov. Kathy Hochul to allow federal Medicaid reimbursement funds to pass through to counties across the state.

The governor’s $277 billion budget proposal, which needs to be approved by the State Legislature come April 1, diverts an estimated $626 million in federal Medicaid funds that his counties were meant to receive over the course of next year. Upstate counties would have to spend about $280 million more in insurance costs.

The resolution approved by the legislature calls for the state to continue providing the federal funds to counties through an enhanced Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (eFMAP) federal pass through. Otherwise, it could cost Cortland County more than $1.3 million in funds meant for this year.

What’s more, legislators added, the projected costs of the healthcare program in 2024 are projected to grow by 30 percent by 2027.

Some form of the eFMAP pass-through has existed for more than 20 years.

“I state at committee, invoice them. This will get their attention,” said Legislator Kelly Preston (R-LD-10).

Legislator Sandy Price (D-LD-14) said withholding these funds would have a “great financial impact.” 

“We would have to make it up by raising our property taxes or cutting services,” she said.

Based on current estimations, Price said the county would have to raise the tax rate by 3.4 percent.

A copy of the resolution has been sent to representatives of Cortland County in Albany and in Washington, D.C.