Assemblyman Darrel J. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent (118th District), issued the following press release:
Assemblyman Darrel J. Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent) announced today that the Assembly passed legislation he sponsored to help farmers by removing depreciation of business assets from income eligibility for Family Health Plus (A.5781).
'Farmers have been slipping through the cracks of our health care system and it's time we stop that from happening,' Aubertine said. 'Everyone is feeling the crunch of high energy and health care costs, but farmers are especially vulnerable because of the way their income eligibility is calculated - leaving them ineligible for Family Health Plus. My bill would provide self-employed farmers with greater access to the Family Health Plus program.'
A farm family of four living on approximately $22,000 in actual farm income would be eligible for Family Health Plus. However, with farm machinery values included in the family income, the same family could appear to be making much more and be prevented from eligibility.
'Farmers assets should not be used as a liability,' Aubertine said. 'Every New Yorker should have health care coverage, and this legislation ensures that North Country farmers are not denied access to quality, affordable health care. I urge the Senate and governor to help make this important piece of legislation law.'