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Overview Provided on 2020-21 State Budget Wage Parity Amendments

Significant changes were made in this year’s State Budget to strengthen financial accountability and transparency regarding wage parity compensation for home care aides. While providers have had little guidance on the types of benefits that could be used to satisfy the Wage Parity Law, new provisions will likely dictate the development of benefits, namely a provision that requires agencies to ensure that funds or funds/benefits used to satisfy the requirement are fully distributed to the home care aide; unused funds will no longer be able to be returned to agencies.

The memorandum, authored by LeadingAge NY counsel Hinman Straub, provides an overview of Wage Parity Law Subsection 5-a and its implications for benefit packages currently being offered by many agencies, including self-insured and captive benefit plans. It also details new certification and reporting requirements for all providers and plans involved, including contract language to reflect compliance. The budget language also requires enhanced penalties and sanctions for noncompliance and a provision for plans to refer noncompliance to the Department.

Subsection 5-a, which ensures that aides receive full wage compensation, went into effect April 1, 2020, while the provisions regarding certification and penalties go into effect Oct. 1, 2020. To access the memorandum, click here. Please contact LeadingAge NY with questions or concerns.

Contact: Meg Everett, meverett@leadingageny.org, 518-929-9342