CONNECTICUT — Raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 without adjusting Medicaid payments would have a devastating impact on Connecticut skilled care facilities, providers said last month.
LeadingAge Connecticut estimates that its 35 members would need to pay an additional $9 million in wages and benefits if the hike goes through.
“I fear that our nursing home is now at a critical juncture,” Thomas Russo, executive director of Kimberly Hall South in Windsor, CT, wrote to state lawmakers. “We are clearly at a point where we can’t go another year without Connecticut policymakers recognizing that substantial Medicaid help is overdue.”
State legislators are mulling whether to boost minimum pay to $15 per hour, up from $10.10. At the same time, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) and lawmakers’ budget proposals for the next two years have not included increases to Medicaid reimbursement rates. That lack of Medicaid support and stagnant wages have fueled ongoing strike threats from thousands of nursing home workers.
Lamont’s plans would increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2023 while legislators have suggested a 2022 increase.