Gov Offers Checks for Checkups
By Carl Campanile New York Post October 22, 2012
Gov. Cuomo has a prescription to make Medicaid recipients healthier - he’ll pay them to show up for doctor’s appointments.
The Cuomo administration is launching an experimental “incentive” program that will use $2 million in taxpayer funding next year to provide Medicaid recipients up to $250 in cash bonuses to take better care of themselves - by getting regular medical checkups, properly filling their prescriptions and better monitoring their blood pressure and weight.
Some Medicaid recipients will even be rewarded with free lottery tickets, according to the plan submitted to the federal government.
The details were revealed in a request for proposals seeking a contractor that will issue bank-style debit cards to allow the Health Department to make electronic cash transfers to recipients.
The state will initially target 16,700 Medicaid recipients, mostly New York City residents with diabetes, pre-diabetic symptoms and hypertension as well as heavy smokers in western New York.
For example, a diabetes patient would get $50 for each medical appointment or properly filling an insulin prescription and regulating his blood sugar - up to $250.
Critics blast the program as yet another taxpayer giveaway in New York’s $50 billion-a-year Medicaid program, the most expensive in the nation.
There are 5 million New Yorkers enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program, or more than a quarter of the population.