A federal agency that’s responsible for keeping tabs on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services programs has gotten into a dispute over accounting with New York state public exchange program officials.
The federal agency, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, says the New York State Department of Health allocated about $150 million in federal grant money that should have gone to Medicaid to the exchange program.
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Office of Inspector General officials say in a new report that New York officials misallocated the grant money because they started with inaccurate, overly optimistic forecasts about how many people would use New York state exchange plans.
New York officials say the distinction is not very important, because the state uses its Affordable Care Act exchange, NY State of Health, to enroll state residents both in ACA public exchange plans and in the state’s Medicaid program.
The state definitely had the authority to spend its federal funding on exchange development, whether the costs were allocated to the exchange program or to Medicaid programs, New York officials say.
New York exchange builders followed Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance and rules when they allocated the costs, and they used allocation methods approved by CMS, officials say.