Employer Assessment Proposed in Illinois while Massachusetts Considers Repeal

In Illinois, State Representative Gregory Harris (D) has introduced House Bill 272, which would establish the Health Insurer Claims Assessment (HICA) Act. This would institute a 1% assessment on claims paid by a health insurance carrier (including single employer plan sponsors) or third-party administrator, similar to Michigan’s HICA that was just repealed. The monies collected under this assessment would be used to fund the state’s Medicaid program.

Representative Harris has tried to get this bill passed since the 2015-2016 session. His first attempt put the bill into a larger revenue bill, but it was stripped and he introduced it as a standalone bill in the same session. When a hearing was held, hospitals were in favor, but business groups obviously were not.

While the proposal has not been successful in the past, we don’t want to assume that will be the case this session. ERIC will be sure to give voice to our member companies’ perspective with Illinois lawmakers so that another HICA doesn’t come to fruition.

Massachusetts: Republican Legislators Pushing for Repeal of Health Care Fees

In Massachusetts, Republican legislators are trying to repeal the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC) Supplement Tax, which is a fee for employers with employees that receive health care coverage through the state’s Medicaid program. State Senator Bruce Tarr (R) has introduced Senate Bill 328, which would repeal the EMAC retroactive to January 1 and give a refund to employers for all monies paid in 2019. Representative Brad Hill (R) has introduced similar legislation in the House (House Bill 2291).

ERIC has regularly taken issue with the EMAC alongside many others in the business community and will be supportive of this legislation. While the state’s legislature is controlled by Democrats, this has been an incredibly unpopular tax, not just with large employers, but small employers as well, so hopefully we will be able to get some legs under this legislation.

If you have any questions on either of these proposals or want to discuss another state health care issue, please let me know.

Article by Adam Greathouse, Health Care Policy Senior Associate