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State Expands Health Care Worker Bonus Program

On Nov. 17th, the Department of Health (DOH) notified employers about the expansion of the Health Care Worker Bonus (HWB) Program. The program is being expanded to include additional positions and settings. Notably, security guards are now included, as are additional staff working in Assisted Living Programs (ALPs), Hospice Residences, Health Homes, and DOH-Funded Permanent Supportive Housing Agencies. While certain staff working in Medicaid ALPs were eligible, we are pleased that the Department has now officially included the “Other Support Workers” working in the ALP in the bonus program. Until this change, these titles were recognized in the nursing home and hospital, but the ALP was overlooked.

Please note that eligible employers should NOT submit claims for these newly eligible workers during the current submission cycle that ends Nov. 30th. DOH will announce a special submission period during which employers impacted by this expansion will be able to submit these claims. The special submission period will ONLY be available to those employers and employees included in this expansion. This submission period will begin in December (exact date is forthcoming) and will remain open for 30 days. During this special submission period, employers (including newly Qualified Employers) must submit their eligible workers for vesting periods 1 and 2. After this special submission period, these employees and employers will remain eligible and follow the same vesting period schedule as other employers for the remainder of the program.

We also would like to remind members that the extended claims submission period is coming to a close on Nov. 30th. Members will recall that DOH delayed the close of the second claims submission window from the end of October to Nov. 30th. More information on that is available here.

Complete information is provided on a new HWB Expansion page of the HWB section of the DOH website here. The main HWB site is here.

Contact: Darius Kirstein, dkirstein@leadingageny.org, or Diane Darbyshire, ddarbyshire@leadingageny.org. Both can be reached at 518-867-8383.