Start Your Day This Way – Thank a Lawmaker!

March 16, 2024

Good morning,

Despite it being Saturday, legislative staff and leaders will be in Albany this weekend working through budget issues, sharing information and negotiating to reach an agreement on a new state budget.  

We need to extend our thanks to all members of the Senate and the Assembly for including commercial rate reform in their one-house budget bills.  Thank you’s are very important as we move into the most intense part of the budget negotiations process.  Important proposals ‘fall off the table’ all the time when we lose momentum, fail to constantly reinforce our priorities and forget to thank lawmakers for prioritizing our needs.

Please use your contacts to thank your lawmaker for including a provision in the Assembly or Senate one-house bill (depending on who you are talking to) that will open up access to care for New Yorkers with commercial insurance by requiring commercial insurers to pay (at least) the Medicaid rate for commercial mental health and/or addictions care provided by your agency.  The provision is Part AA in the Health/Mental Hygiene section of their one-house bills. 

Talking Points

  • The commercial rate mandate is a game changer for New Yorkers who have a commercial insurance card in their pockets, and it will enable many mental health and addiction providers to provide care where before they could not afford to do so due to grossly inadequate rates. 
  • The proposal will address a longstanding inequity in which New Yorkers with commercial insurance face inadequate networks of providers who take their insurance.
  • Based on a provider survey and on average, most providers are being reimbursed at rates that are just 50% of the state-required Medicaid rate that must be paid for the same services provided to Medicaid members.
  • (Please discuss current challenges faced by constituents in your lawmakers district related to finding care for their mental health/addiction challenges)
  • Say thank you (again).