New York Governor Kathy Hochul has unveiled a $237bn Executive Budget for fiscal year 2025 (FY 2025), which includes significant investments to improve the state’s healthcare system such as additional paid time off for pregnant women. 

This investment underscores the state’s dedication to reinforcing the healthcare safety net and reforming the delivery system with a $37bn allocation for Medicaid and to enhance service accessibility and support the healthcare workforce. 

The budget supports the state’s Medicaid 1115 Waiver amendment with $7.5bn in federal and state funds aimed at advancing health equity.  

Hochul said that the budget prioritises maternal and infant healthcare improvements, making New York the first state to expand access to prenatal care for pregnant women. 

The expanded support will allow eligible employees to opt for up to 20 hours of leave without impacting the 12-week paid family leave. 

Additionally, the budget introduces legislation to protect low-income residents from medical debt lawsuits, by prohibiting hospitals from suing patients who earn less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level/$120,000 for a four-person family and expanding financial assistance for hospital care.  

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This budget earmarks $3.2bn to aid distressed hospitals and allocates $315m for health insurance subsidies, $825m for temporary reimbursement increases in healthcare facilities, and $300m for a Healthcare Safety Net Transformation Programme. 

It also proposes Medicaid savings of $200m through the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Programme. 

Primary care rates will see a $148m increase, and $116m is allocated for Aging and Public Health programmes.  

The budget provides a rate increase for the Early Intervention Programme and additional funding for SUNY Downstate, including an advisory board to explore modernisation options. 

Furthermore, the budget includes investments to address mental health needs, with $55m to add new inpatient psychiatric beds across the state, including three more 25-bed Transition to Home Units, and $84m for increased reimbursements for mental health services provided at certain sites. 

The budget dedicates $33m funds to improve mental health engagement within the criminal justice system, $20m to support school-based mental health clinics and allocate $90m opioid settlement funding.  

It also provides $19m to deliver critical mental healthcare services for young people and $2m for first responders. 

Hochul said: “From supporting pregnant moms to reducing insulin costs, we are taking action to ensure New Yorkers can access the care they need.”