Caregivers & Legislators Decry Private Insurers Reaping Billions in Profits at the Expense of Consumers & Taxpayers

March 6, 2024

Home care workers–thousands facing $3/hour wage cuts under Gov. Hochul’s budget–demanded
the state stop wasteful spending & reinvest in care

Dozens of home care workers joined legislators in Albany this afternoon to decry the more than $18 billion in profits made in 2023 by just four managed long-term care private insurance companies.

In 2012, New York’s home care program was brought under managed long-term care—a system where private health insurance companies manage the delivery of home care, ostensibly to streamline services and save money. Yet this program has completely failed its purpose—it did not create cost savings and in fact has allowed health insurance middlemen to extract billions of dollars in profit out of the home care system. 

“I have worked in home care since 2008. I keep doing this work because I like caring for people. I consider it a blessing that I am able be there for people who need the help. This work is very demanding, and we are already so stressed worrying about money and bills. How are we supposed to support our families if there are cutbacks? And while we are just getting by—four of the largest managed long-term care companies reported profits over $18 billion for 2023,” said Akira Hope a Queens home care worker.

Last month four of the largest managed long-term care private insurance companies reported exorbitant profits in excess of $18 billion for 2023:

• Centene, which owns Fidelis Care, reported $2.7 billion in profit—more than double last year’s profits.
• Elevance, which owns HealthPlus, reported $5.99 billion in profit.
• Molina, which owns Senior Whole Health of New York, reported $1.09 billion in profit.
• CVS Health, which owns Aetna Better Care, reported $8.3 billion in profit— almost double last year’s profits.

"Ensuring affordable and quality long term care for our aging and differently abled populations should be one of the cornerstones of our healthcare delivery system, especially with the rising costs of these services. Privatizing health care has not saved our state money or improved care for New Yorkers, instead it enriches private health insurance companies. I am proud to sponsor the Home Care Savings and Reinvestment Act because by removing the middleman, we will modernize our healthcare system to ensure dollars are going to home care providers and not being syphoned off," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chair of the Senate Health Committee.

"Home Care is a transformative, empowering and essential service that New Yorkers rely upon to provide dignity and quality of life to millions of our residents. The Governor proposes to starve the program, despite the fact that it saves the state billions of dollars annually in reduced hospital visits and nursing home admissions. I believe we must do the exact opposite and instead invest in home care, The CDPAP Program and the workers who carry out this noble and loving mission each day,” said State Senator Cordell Cleare, Chair of the Senate Aging Committee.

New York’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) allows individuals with disabilities who rely on Medicaid to directly hire an at-home caregiver of their choice—to live independently and with dignity in their own homes. In 2012, CDPAP  was also moved to managed long-term care plans.

“Any decision to reduce our wages is completely illogical at a time when we are facing inflation in our rents, food price and car costs. The governor has no idea what it is like to live in New York City,” explained Elsa Mendoza who is a CDPAP worker in the Bronx who would have her hourly wage slashed by $3 per hour under Governor Hochul’s proposed budget. “And at the same time the state is taking away money from us, the insurance companies are banking billions of dollars. It’s a disgrace.”

Rather than address the real driver of growth in home care cost—excessive insurer profits and administrative costs—Governor Hochul’s budget squarely targets home care workers and consumers. Her proposal would cut the wages of CDPAP workers by $3 an hour, a devastating blow to their livelihoods and making it even more difficult for home care consumers to hire the help they need.

"As the Chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee and a representative of the 24th Assembly District in Queens I’m a proud co-sponsor of the Homecare Savings and Reinvest Act. There are proposed cuts to CDPAP. CDPAP is a fantastic program that allows sick and elderly home care consumers to hire the caregivers of their choice, including family members and friends, and pay them for their time. In my district alone, Celestial Care, a reputable and long standing CDPAP provider is set to shut down next year. Celestial Care provides services for 400 patients and employs hundreds of individuals in my district. I stand in solidarity with my colleagues and urge the State of New York to reconsider this proposal and allow CDPAP to stay in business,” said Assemblymember David Weprin.

The Home Care Savings & Reinvestment Act (S7800/A8470) introduced in Albany this year would end the ability of for-profit insurance companies to rip-off home care consumers and taxpayers—and oppose cuts to home care worker pay in the state budget. This legislation will generate $3 billion in savings annually, which could be used to pay for growing home care needs, improve service quality, and ensure continuity of care by funding higher wages for home care workers to help resolve New York’s worst-in-the-nation home care worker shortage.

“The Home Care Savings and Reinvestment Act seeks to address the home care needs of the residents of this state by identifying cost savings methods and reinvesting them into higher wages for home care workers. This legislation will alleviate the crisis created by the shortage of workers by generating revenue that will support home care services. Our state can generate as much as $3 billion in annual savings to go towards improving the quality of care for home care recipients, protecting the welfare of our residents, expanding quality services, and providing care to our most vulnerable community members. I proudly stand with my colleagues in support of this legislation, and I will continue to advocate for long-term care benefits for workers and residents throughout our state,” said Assemblyman Demond Meeks