CCC.THISJUSTIN

March 2, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

United States:  Initial claim filings were at the lowest level since 1969. For the week ending February 24, initial claim filing was 210,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This was the lowest level for initial claims since December 6, 1969, when it was 202,000.

Alabama:  Alabama has had the largest drop in annual unemployment in the country, according to the latest data available. Department of Labor Statistics shows the state’s annual average unemployment rate fell 1.5 percent from 5.9 percent in 2016 to 4.4 percent in 2017. Alabama’s current unemployment rate, 3.5 percent in December 2017 (this is a preliminary figure and is subject to revision), is the lowest on record.

Massachusetts: Massachusetts employers will soon see the impact of House Bill 3822, signed last year by Governor Charlie Baker. To offset the significant shift from commercial to publicly subsidized health care coverage, in 2018 and 2019, there will be an increase in the existing Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC), assessed through the Department of Unemployment Assistance. The increase will begin in the first quarter of 2018 and is intended to be temporary and applicable to wages paid in the calendar year 2018.

Additionally, employers with more than five employees who are non-disabled and receive health care coverage through MassHealth or receive subsidized care through ConnectorCare for a period of at least 56 continuous days, will be assessed a supplemental fee of up to 5% of a covered employee’s unemployment insurance taxable wages (up to a cap of $750 per covered employee). The assessment will be based on wages on record with the DUA for the employer and will apply to both full and part-time employees. There are scant few exceptions to this EMAC Supplemental Contribution, but one is that an EMAC Supplemental Contribution will not be assessed for any employee in any quarter who receives health insurance coverage through MassHealth or ConnectorCare on the basis of permanent or total disability.

Employers also need to be aware that the DUA’s assessment determination may only be appealed within ten days of receipt by the employer of the determination notice. Further, because the determination notice is presumed received as early as the date of electronic transmission from the DUA, employers need to check their online DUA accounts to ensure that they have not lost the opportunity to appeal an EMAC Supplemental Contribution assessment.

Although the EMAC Supplemental Contributions currently are intended to apply to wages paid in the calendar year 2018, there is a possibility that this program may be extended into future years. So stay tuned.

If you have questions regarding any of the workforce solutions, CCC provides, please contact us at 800.207.6926 or contact@corporatecostcontrol.com.

 

 

 


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