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Budget Summary FY2014

Outside Section 109
Data Current as of:  9/11/2013




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Employer Responsibility Trust Fund

SECTION 109.   Said chapter 149 is hereby further amended by adding the following section:-

Section 189. (a) Each employer, subject to sections 14, 14A and 14C of chapter 151A, shall pay, in the same manner and at the same times as the director of unemployment assistance prescribes for the contribution required by said section 14, an employer medical assistance contribution. The employer medical assistance contribution shall be computed by multiplying the wages the employer paid its employees by the employer medical assistance contribution rate of .36 per cent; provided, however, that employers who employ 5 or fewer employees shall not be required to pay such employer medical assistance contribution. The purpose of the employer medical assistance contribution shall be to support the provision of subsidized health care services funded by the Commonwealth Care Trust Fund, established under section 2OOOO of chapter 29, and the Health Safety Net Trust Fund, established under section 66 of chapter 118E.

(b) The receipts from such contributions shall be placed in the Commonwealth Care Trust Fund, or any successor fund; provided, however, that $1 for each employee whose wages determine each employer's total employer medical assistance contribution shall be deposited annually in the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund, established by section 2ZZ of chapter 29; and provided further, that the Commonwealth Care Trust Fund shall transfer not less than $30,000,000 of these funds annually to the Health Safety Net Trust Fund. Prior to depositing the amounts collected under this section, the director of unemployment assistance may deduct all administrative costs incurred by the department as a result of this section, including an amount as determined by the United States Secretary of Labor under federal cost rules; provided, however, that in no calendar year may such deduction exceed 5 per cent of the amounts collected under this section.

(c)(1) For the purposes of this section, the term "wages" shall not include that part of remuneration which, after remuneration equal to the employer medical assistance contribution wage base with respect to employment with such employer has been paid to an individual during the calendar year, is paid to such individual during such year. For the purposes of this paragraph, remuneration shall include remuneration paid to an individual during the calendar year with respect to employment with a transferring employer, as that term is used in subsection (n) of section 14 of chapter 151A.

(2) For the purposes of this section, the term "employer medical assistance contribution wage base" shall have the same meaning as the term "unemployment insurance taxable wage base" as defined in paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of section 14 of chapter 151A.

(d)(1) This section shall not apply to an employer newly subject to chapter 151A, until such employer has been an employer for a minimum of 12 consecutive months, as specified in paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of said section 14 of said chapter 151A.

(2) Notwithstanding the contribution rate set forth in subsection (a), during the first calendar year in which this section shall apply to an employer under paragraph (1), the employer's employer medical assistance contribution rate shall be .12 per cent.

(3) Notwithstanding the contribution rate set forth in subsection (a), during the second calendar year in which this section shall apply to an employer newly subject to this chapter under paragraph (1), the employer's employer medical assistance contribution shall be .24 per cent.

(e) Except where inconsistent with this section, the terms and conditions of chapter 151A that are applicable to the payment and collection of contributions or payments in lieu of contributions shall apply to the same extent to the payment of and the collection of such employer medical assistance contribution; provided, however, that such contributions shall not be credited to the employer's account or to the solvency account established under section 14, 14A or 14C of chapter 151A.

(f) There shall be an employer medical assistance contribution rate review board composed of the: (i) director of the health safety net office or a designee; (ii) director of the department of unemployment assistance or a designee; (iii) executive director of the commonwealth health insurance connector authority or a designee; and (iv) the commissioner of insurance or a designee. Annually, on or before November 30, the board shall determine if the employer medical assistance contribution rates established under this section shall be adequate to provide for the estimated costs of providing subsidized health care to low-income residents of the commonwealth. The board shall file a report detailing its cost review determination with the general court and the executive office for administration and finance on or before December 31 of each year. If the board determines that the costs to the commonwealth in providing subsidized care have increased from the previous fiscal year, the board may, by a majority vote, recommend an increase to the employer medical assistance contribution rate and submit its recommendations, with its annual report, to the general court.

(g) The director of unemployment assistance, the director of the health safety net office and the executive director of the commonwealth health insurance connector authority shall report annually, after the end of each calendar year, to the governor, the house committee on ways and means and the senate committee on ways and means. The report shall include the number of employers paying an employer medical assistance contribution, the amount collected in the fund, the amount needed to administer the fund, the amount transferred and how the funds were used by the program. The report may also make recommendations for changes in the law and regulations governing the fund.

(h) Any employer notified of a liability determination under this section by the director of unemployment assistance may request a hearing on such determination. The request for hearing shall be filed within 10 days after mailing of the notice of the determination. If a hearing is requested, the director shall give the employer a reasonable opportunity for a fair hearing before an impartial hearing officer designated by the director. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures in subsection (b) of section 39 of chapter 151A. Any employer aggrieved by the decision following the hearing may appeal such decision as prescribed by sections 40 to 42, inclusive, of said chapter 151A. Unless action is taken under said section 40 of said chapter 151A, the decision of the director shall be final on all questions of fact and law.