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Employers Get First Look at MassHealth Assessment

March 30, 2018
Employers can now get their first look at how much money they will owe under a new Massachusetts assessment designed to close a budget deficit in the MassHealth program for low-income people.
The first bills for the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC) Supplement will be included in employers’ 2018 first-quarter Unemployment Insurance (UI) contributions. Information detailing EMAC Supplement costs became accessible yesterday via employers’ online account through the Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA).
The EMAC supplement is a new wage tax to be paid by employers who have workers enrolled in either the MassHealth program or subsidized Health Connector coverage. A 5 percent tax is assessed on these employees’ wages – up to $750 maximum annually – if they are enrolled in either program for 56 continuous days during the preceding quarter. 
Here are basic steps to view your EMAC Supplement bill:
  1. Employers with six or more employees will access their liability for the EMAC supplement quarterly, via their DUA online account, when they provide their quarterly wage filing;
  2. Detailed information will be provided as to the number of employees on MassHealth or subsidized Connector coverage;
  3. Employers have 10 days from receipt of this information to appeal the determination of liability to the DUA.
Employers who use third party administrators (TPA) to handle their UI payments face a few additional steps to authorize the TPA to access your complete EMAC Supplement information. Different TPAs are handling the EMAC Supplement differently, so AIM urges all employers to communicate with their TPAs as soon as possible to understand any additional steps. 
The Massachusetts Legislature last year passed, and Governor Charlie Baker signed, this $200 million tax on employers for calendar years 2018 and 2019 to cover a shortfall in the health-insurance program for low-income residents.
The EMAC Supplement tax will fall most heavily on companies where employees use MassHealth instead of an employer health plan. The assessment has been partially offset by a two-year Unemployment Insurance rate adjustment, saving employers $335 million during two years.

Please contact the AIM Employer Hotline at 800-470-6277 if you have questions.

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