Home Care Battles NY Governor’s $15 Minimum Wage

An association representing approximately 350 New York home health care agencies has come out against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour statewide—and they’re taking their fight to the state capital.

The New York State Association of Health Care Providers said several of its members cannot afford to pay workers $15 per hour. At present, home care workers in the state make an average of between $10 and $11.50 per hour.

Several of the state’s home health care agencies would only be in jeopardy of “making less profit” if the minimum wage were to increase to $15 an hour, Cuomo said, according to North Country Public Radio.

“So those companies, I don’t have that much sympathy for, but companies that would feel a financial strain, that’s something we would talk about,” Cuomo said.

Meanwhile, the New York State Association of Health Care Providers is planning to host an “Advocacy Day” in Albany, the state’s capital, on March 1. Home care providers from across New York are expected to share their concerns with state lawmakers regarding the governor’s proposed budget.

The association is calling for more Medicaid funding to support the state’s full share of any minimum wage hike that is enacted; adequate Medicaid reimbursements for home care services; protection for home care providers against health insurance plan insolvency; and financing for home care infrastructure investments, including health care IT.

“Decisions made in this year’s state’s budget will be critical to the future viability of New York’s home care industry and the continued access to high quality home care services for all New Yorkers,” Claudia J. Hammar, the association’s president, said in a prepared statement.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson