ALBANY New York auditors say poor coordination of health benefits for military veterans by local social services departments and the state health department has resulted in many veterans placed in the state's Medicaid program rather than federal programs.
Auditors report dozens of examples where referrals weren't made for federal benefits, limiting those veterans' health care options and costing the state and its taxpayers millions of dollars.
In the five-year period ending March 31, 2013, New York's Medicaid program reimbursed health care providers $3.47 billion for medical services provided to more than 70,000 veterans.
According to the federal Veterans Administration, about 913,000 veterans live in New York.
Many veterans enrolled in Medicaid are also entitled to health care through the VA, with a choice of which to use.