New Guidance on EMAC Adjustments for 2018-2019

On Oct. 25, 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) posted updates relating to employer health care contributions and experience rate schedule adjustments for 2018 – 2019.

As background, Massachusetts recently increased the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC) for 2018 and 2019 and implemented an EMAC supplement contribution for employees who are not eligible for the employer group health plan and have coverage through the state (generally speaking, either the MassHealth or Massachusetts ConnectorCare Program).

According to the updates, employees in the premium assistance program will not be considered employees on MassHealth and, therefore, will not cause the employer to pay the EMAC supplement for those employees. That said, because the EMAC supplement is based on wages paid and not hours worked, if the EMAC supplement applies, it’s payable regardless of whether employees are full or part-time. The updates also clarify that employers will have time to review and discuss the DUA’s calculation of the employer’s EMAC supplement prior to payment. It’s not clear whether this means the employer will have to calculate the EMAC supplement prior to DUA’s calculation. The DUA has indicated that nonprofit organizations and governmental employers are subject to the EMAC.

Importantly, draft legislation suggests that the changes to the EMAC and addition of the EMAC supplement may necessitate a revival of the employer Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) forms. While that legislation is not formal, it’s important to note as the EMAC adjustments develop.

Employers should work with tax counsel and payroll providers to make adjustments relating to the change in EMAC and potential supplemental contribution. The update also states that regulations on the issue are forthcoming, so employers should be aware those are coming.

MA DUA Updates »