HealthCare Alert: Florida Medicaid Providers Must Increase Minimum Wage to $15 per Hour by October 1, 2022
On June 2, 2022, the Florida governor signed the Freedom First budget for State Fiscal Year 2022-2023 (the “Law”), which provided over $600 million in funding to the Agency for Health Care Administration (“AHCA”) to increase the minimum wage for employees of Medicaid providers to at least $15 an hour. AHCA recently issued Q&A guidance to clarify some of the issues raised by the Law.
All Medicaid providers that are reimbursed for services under the Medicaid “fee-for-service” fee schedules are required to pay covered employees at least $15 per hour. The full list of impacted fee schedules can be found at the Agency’s Medicaid Provider Minimum Wage requirements web page.
Most providers, including local governments, which are enrolled in the Florida Medicaid program, must pay direct care workers $15 an hour. However, nursing homes are required to pay their entire staff a minimum of $15 an hour.
October 1, 2022 Deadline
All providers that bill for services under the impacted fee schedules must sign a Medicaid Provider Supplemental Wage Agreement by October 1, 2022. Providers can log in to the Medicaid Provider Secure Web Portal to execute this required document. The Supplemental Wage Agreement contains an attestation that the Medicaid provider is paying all applicable employees at least $15 per hour.
Providers that fail to sign the Supplemental Wage Agreement will be subject to recoupment of funds associated with the minimum wage requirement. Additionally, starting January 1, 2023, employees may bring civil action against the provider if the employee believes that employer is not paying the required $15 per hour minimum. Employees may be awarded the full amount of back pay and the same amount in liquidated damages, plus attorney’s fees. The Law also allows employees to pursue a class action lawsuit against their employers for asserted violations.
Medicaid providers should contact their attorney for guidance on application of the Law to their workforce.