STATUTE CUTTING OFF COUNTIES’ ABILITY TO SEEK MEDICAID OVERBURDEN EXPENSES IS CONSTITUTIONAL.
The Court of Appeals, in a full-fledged opinion by Judge Rivera, determined Section 61 of the Executive Budget Law, which cut-off counties’ ability to seek Medicaid “overburden expenses” as of January 1, 2006, is constitutional. The State Executive Budget Memorandum explained that the purpose of Section 61 was to “to clarify that local governments cannot claim for overburden expenses incurred prior to January 1, 2006 when the ‘local cap’ statute that limited local contributions to Medicaid expenditures took effect. This is necessary to address adverse court decisions that have resulted in State costs paid to local districts for pre-cap periods, which conflict with the original intent of the local cap statute:”
Once the State complied with its statutory obligation under Social Services Law § 368-a (1) (h) (i) to pay the counties for overburden reimbursements, it was fully consistent with the prior mandatory reimbursement scheme for the Legislature to impose a deadline on claims for unpaid funds. That deadline was neither in conflict with a fundamental law nor our constitutional principles. Just as the Counties cannot be heard to complain that the Legislature replaced one Medicaid allocation scheme with another, thus redefining the counties’ expense burden, so too are the counties without recourse when the Legislature imposes a deadline on the counties’ submission of claims for overburden reimbursements, thereby closing the door on pre-2006 claims. Matter of County of Chemung v Shah, 2016 NY Slip Op 07043, CtApp 10-27-16
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