Westchester Medical Centers, the nation’s largest provider of emergency care, wants to expand Medicaid eligibility to cover more people.
The New York-based medical center said Wednesday that it will be the first state to expand its Medicaid eligibility.
Under the proposal, the center would pay its members $500 a month for coverage and would pay for medical appointments and lab work.
The new coverage would cover up to 2.5 million people, including those in nursing homes and those living with chronic illnesses.
Westchester’s plan was unveiled at a meeting of the state’s Health Department’s Health Policy Committee, where a spokeswoman said the proposal is in the works.
The committee is expected to make its final recommendations in mid-September.
The announcement was met with excitement by advocates for health care access, who have pushed the state to increase funding for Medicaid, as well as with skepticism by the medical community.
The state’s proposal includes $30 million in new funding, but critics say that would not go far enough.
Westchester wants to cover its patients, said Michael O’Leary, executive director of the Westchester Healthcare Alliance, a health care advocacy group.
The proposal also says Westchester would pay part of its cost of care through its payroll tax.
Westbridge, New York, was the first New York city to establish Medicaid in 2015, when it adopted a model that also covers low-income people who are eligible for free or reduced-cost care.