News Council, members make case for EMAC exemption for human service nonprofits

The Providers’ Council, two providers and a state Senator testified before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development Tuesday, March 26, in support of bills H.1594 and S.1098 that would exempt human services nonprofits from making Employer Medical Assistance Contribution Supplement payments.

Most of the testimony before the committee in the packed hearing room Tuesday was related to ending the EMAC assessments.

“The irony here,” said Sen. Michael Moore, the sponsor of Senate Bill 1098 An act establishing EMAC exemption for human service nonprofits, “is that the EMAC Supplement is an assessment paid for from the very funds appropriated by the state to care for people in Massachusetts with various life challenges, who are then receiving less than what the funds were appropriated for.”

Brockton Area Multi-Services, Inc. President and CEO Anthony Simonelli and Seven Hills Foundation President David Jordan both noted how hard hit their programs have been by the quarterly EMAC payments to reimburse the state for employees who receive subsidized health insurance through MassHealth.

The cost to BAMSI in 2018 was approximately $325,000 and he estimated that the overall cost could “possibly be in excess of three-quarters of a million dollars.”

Jordan told the panel, co-chaired by Rep. Paul Brodeur and Sen. Patricia Jehlen, that Seven Hills Foundation had to remit more than $375,000 in 2018 for 400-plus employees – about 10 percent of his staff – who choose MassHealth “because they simply cannot afford the healthcare co-pay premiums we offer” even as the organization has raised the average hourly wage for direct support professionals to a minimum of $15 per hour.

Simonelli, Jordan and Providers’ Council President and CEO Michael Weekes asked for support of the bills – SB 1098 and House Bill 1594 sponsored by Rep. Gerry Cassidy – and requested immediate relief from the assessment for human services nonprofits that have been disproportionately affected by the unfunded mandate.

If you have questions about the Providers’ Council’s EMAC exemption legislation or other public policy issues, please email Bill Yelenak at or call 617.428.3637 x122.

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