Our colleagues on the Employment Matters blog recently analyzed a budget proposal by the Massachusetts Senate that would authorize the Governor to collect additional funds from employers to offset increasing MassHealth costs. MassHealth, Massachusetts’s Medicaid program, offers low-cost, benefit rich coverage to low-income individuals. Eligible individuals sometimes forgo employer coverage in lieu of MassHealth coverage, a trend that is unsustainable for the Commonwealth.
In Governor Baker’s fiscal year 2018 budget, he called on Massachusetts employers to help pay for the increasing Medicaid costs. To support this initiative, the Senate recently introduced a proposal that would allow the Governor to select from two options to offset these rising costs: (1) a “play-or-pay” option that would impose a per employee assessment on companies that do not offer their workers health plans, or (2) an across the board increase in the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (or “EMAC”). The Employment Matters post analyzes how the increase in the EMAC may be more administratively feasible for the Commonwealth, while the “pay-or-play” option is potentially preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Check out their full analysis here.