Assemblyman Darrel J. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent (118th District), issued the following press release:
Assemblyman Darrel J. Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent) announced that the Assembly passed legislation he sponsored that will provide better access to health care for farmers. Specifically, the legislation removes the depreciation of business assets from income eligibility for the Family Health Plus program (A.1301).
'We need to ensure that farmers are not being unfairly excluded from the Family Health Plus program,' Aubertine said. 'Farmers have been feeling the burden of higher costs across the board - we cannot further burden them by unfairly calculating their income eligibility for essential health care.'
A farm family of four living on approximately $22,000 in actual farm income would be eligible for Family Health Plus. However, the value of farm machinery owned by a family is currently included in their income. This causes their income to become inflated - preventing them from eligibility. Aubertine said his bill would provide self-employed farmers with greater access to the Family Health Plus program by ensuring their assets are not used as a liability.
'This legislation ensures that North Country farmers are not denied access to the quality, affordable health care they need,' Aubertine said. 'I urge the Senate to immediately pass this legislation, and for the governor to swiftly sign it into law.'