Funding for the statewide network of ILCs has been increased by $1.6 million to $16 million. Though this is still short of the $18 million recommended by the NYS Board of Regents, it is the biggest one-time increase the ILCs have received in a long time.
Health / Medicaid
Home care worker wage increase: Fair Pay for Home Care was not included in the budget. However, the budget did include a more modest wage increase for home care workers. Here are the final details of what was included:
- As of 10/22, home care workers will receive $2 over the minimum wage.
- As of 10/23, home care workers will receive an additional $1 over minimum wage.
There are concerns this wage increase will push some workers over the benefits cliff, making them ineligible for programs like Medicaid without providing a significant enough wage increase to lift them out of poverty.
Overtime: For Consumer Directed Personal Assistance under managed care, providers will be able to bill for over time. This does not appear to include fee for service. However, the ability to bill for over time is huge.
Medicaid eligibility for aged, blind, and disabled: The income limit was increased to 138% of Federal Poverty Line (FPL). This brings the income eligibility up from 87% FPL to the levels applied to all other Medicaid applicants. The asset limit was not removed as advocates pushed for, but it will be increased by about 50% in January, 2023.
Medicaid Global Cap: The final budget keeps Governor Hochul’s original proposal to keep the cap with a new formula. Pending Federal approval, Medicaid Global Cap shall not exceed the annual growth rate projections within the National Health Expenditure Accounts produced by the office of the actuary in the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services for the preceding five years. While this is expected to be an improvement of the current formula, it is still an arbitrary cap that has kept Medicaid rates low and services underfunded.
Kendra’s Law: Kendra’s Law was extended for 5 years. Under the law, there are a few circumstances under which a person can be ordered to undergo court-ordered treatment. The one newly added and which is of most concern is for individuals who have an expired court order within the last 6 months and who is experiencing a significant increase of symptoms. If the director of community services who previously oversaw the court-ordered treatment determines such symptoms limit one or more major life activities, they can be referred for assisted outpatient treatment. The director of community services must coordinate an evaluation by a physician. If the physician determines it is necessary, they must have assessed the person within 10 days of the hearing and must testify in person or remotely to the need for such an order. It must be determined to be clinically necessary and the least restrictive option. To learn more about the history and background of Kendra's Law, watch our March webinar with Harvey Rosenthal, Chief Executive Officer of NYAPRS.
Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program: Repeals the CDPA request for offers (RFO) and instead directs the Department of Health to enter into contracts with RFO applicants that meet the minimum requirements of the RFO and were serving 200 consumers in NYC or 50 consumers in upstate regions at any time between 1/1/20-3/31/20. This means all ILC FIs will be able to continue providing FI services.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: Funding has been increased by $2.5 million. NYAIL and others have been pushing for a significant amount of increased funding for this program for years since it is so under-funded. While this is not the amount we were seeking, this additional funding will allow providers to increase the number of staff serving people living in LTC facilities.
Access To Home: Level funded at $1 million. This is deeply disappointing given that both houses proposed increasing the funding for the program and it has been underfunded for so long.
Open Meetings Law: Provides a framework for allowing remote participation, but does not require it. A quorum must be present in person at the physical meeting location and they must: 1) adopt a local law or resolution authorizing the use of videoconferencing, 2) have established written procedures governing member and public attendance, 3) ensure that members of the public body can be heard, seen and identified, while the meeting is being conducted 4) record via meeting minutes which members participate remotely 5) inform public via meeting notice re option for videoconferencing 6) record the meetings and post on the website within 5 business days 7) allow for real time public participation. Also includes language that open meetings of any public body that are broadcast or use videoconferencing must be fully accessible.
Elections: College campuses with 300 students registered to vote at that address will be directed to work with the local Board of Elections to establish a polling site on campus. NYAIL supported this proposal which was included in the final budget.