Massachusetts Temporarily Increases Employer Health Care Assessments

Posted in Legislative Updates

On August 1, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law H.3822, which increases the existing Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC) and imposes a new assessment on employers with employees covered under MassHealth, the Commonwealth’s Medicaid program. The increased EMAC and new MassHealth assessment are effective for 2018 and 2019 and are intended to sunset after 2019.

The new employer assessments were initially coupled with eligibility reforms to the MassHealth program that were intended to reduce enrollment growth. Massachusetts lawmakers ultimately rejected the reforms and returned legislation to the Governor with the assessments still in place. The assessments are intended to be offset by a reduction in the increase of unemployment insurance rates over that same period. The unemployment insurance relief is estimated to save employers $334 million over the next two years.

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