Late last month, the Connecticut Department of Social Services proposed a rate increase designed to offset the increase in the state’s minimum hourly wage in the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE). According to a Notice of Proposed Medicaid State Plan Amendment (SPA), DSS submitted the SPA to CMS, effective July 1, 2022, to increase the rates by 5.2% for various specified codes within the state plan home and community-based services option under section 1915(i) of the Social Security Act portion of CHCPE. The purpose of the SPA is to reflect that providers of specified section 1915(i) CHCPE services have increased costs in paying higher wages to certain staff to comply with the July 1, 2022, increase in the state’s minimum wage to $14 per hour. Provider fee schedules are accessible and can be downloaded via DSS’s Connecticut Medical Assistance Program homepage.
Also, the state budget adopted in June provides approximately $116 million to support the ARPA Home and Community-Based Services Reinvestment Plan. Under ARPA, states will receive a 10% enhanced federal match on eligible HCBS expenditures from April 1, 2021, through March 31, 2022. The value of the enhanced match, an estimated $213 million, must be reinvested in new, qualifying HCBS through March 2024. As funding is reinvested, those state expenditures will be subject to federal matching funds, which is anticipated to leverage $228 million in additional federal reimbursement. In total, approximately $461 million is estimated to be expended from April 2021 through March 2024, with an ongoing net state cost of approximately $25 million in FY 25 and beyond. Fiscal Year 23 reinvestments total approximately $173.8 million across three state agencies, including support for 11 positions in DSS.