Three-Way State Budget Negotiations are Underway.
Contact Your Elected Leaders Today!

March 20, 2024

The following information will walk you through how to reach state officials and the messages to deliver.

The Governor proposed a mandated minimum commercial reimbursement rate that insurers would be required to pay OASAS and OMH mental health and addiction agencies. The rate would be the same as the Medicaid reimbursement rate for services provided to Medicaid members. The Senate agrees with the Governor. The Assembly agrees also but wants to limit the number of rate changes that MCOs must comply with to once a year.

MESSAGE to Assembly members: Thank you for including the commercial insurance rate mandate (Part AA) in your one-house budget bill. This is a groundbreaking proposal that will open the front door to care for so many constituents in your district with commercial insurance who have been unable to find a community-based mental health/addictions provider to serve them due to inadequate reimbursement rates paid by commercial insurers to these agencies.

MESSAGE to Senators and the Governor: Thank you for proposing a strong commercial insurance rate mandate (Part AA) in your budget bills. Please include this groundbreaking proposal in the final State Budget agreement.

The Governor proposed a 1.5% cost of living adjustment (COLA) to address wages/salaries AND agency operating expenses across a wide range of human service agencies. The Senate proposes adding funding to increase the COLA to 3.2% however the funds could only be used for wages/salaries. The Assembly would also contribute to the 3.2% COLA however it too would limit use of these funds to wages/salaries only.

MESSAGE to all: Do not enact a COLA that is restricted. Community-based agencies face a myriad of expenses (heating, maintenance, health insurance, gasoline, food, transportation, etc.) they must pay to operate these programs.

**Each year eligible human service agencies are required to sign an attestation form and send it back to the state agency guaranteeing they will use the COLA funds as prescribed in the final enacted budget. This is the assurance the funds are being spent as prescribed.

Providers must have flexibility to address the expenses associated with operating these programs as well as for wages/salaries.

HOW TO COMMUNICATE: A full email listing of all state legislators can be found at this link here. The email for Governor Hochul is

Use the subject lines:

  • Behavioral Health Commercial Insurance Rates
  • Human Services COLA
  • Medicaid Rate Increases