Update on Hazard Pay and Retainer Payments

October 27, 2020

The specific language from the budget is below:

Item 479.10 #2c


B.

14. The appropriation in this item includes $72,000,000 the first year from Coronavirus Relief Funds cited in paragraph B.2. above for the Department of Medical Assistance Services for hazard pay for consumer directed and agency directed personal care attendants who provide Medicaid personal care, respite or companion care services in the amount of $1,500 per personal care attendant. The Department shall have the authority to implement such payments prior to the completion of any regulatory process to effect such changes.


We expect some additional clarity this coming week on the details for the distribution of these funds.  The challenge is to capture all of the potential recipients without duplicating payments to any individual and without making it overly burdensome for any agency. It should be noted that the funds will be pre-tax and therefore withholding taxes will come out pre-payment to the individual.





15. The appropriation in this item includes $25,000,000 the first year from Coronavirus Relief Funds cited in paragraph B.2. above for the Department of Medical Assistance for monthly retainer payments to Medicaid day support providers covering the period of August through December 2020.  The Department shall determine the monthly retainer based on the monthly average retainer payments made by Medicaid for dates of service between April 1 and July 31, 2020 and billed, and paid by October 31, 2020. The Department shall have the authority to implement these payments prior to the completion of any regulatory process to effect such changes.



These funds will not be paid the same way as the retainer payment made for the period of March through July; as you can see above, DMAS will determine monthly amounts based upon billing/payments already made for the months of April through July (which have paid by this week’s payment cycle) and calculate an average monthly amount.  It is likely that payment will be made in December as it will take a while to determine the amount and the CRF funds must be spent by the end of the year.