Massachusetts adopted a broad healthcare reform package designed to cover most of the state's uninsured population. Since its initial adoption, Massachusetts has adapted the state reform program to meet the requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). The following is a summary of the main provisions that affect employers.
The ACA requires the establishment of healthcare exchanges to provide individuals and small employers with access to affordable insurance coverage beginning January 1, 2014. States had the flexibility to design and operate exchanges that best met their unique needs while meeting the ACA’s statutory and regulatory standards. Massachusetts decided to run its own state-based exchange, called Health Connector, instead of having the federal government run one.
Fair Share Contribution. Initially, the Massachusetts healthcare reform package required a Fair Share Contribution (FSC) to be paid by employers with 11 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees that did not provide health insurance for their employees. Such employers instead had to make a “fair and reasonable contribution” toward the cost of providing coverage.
Note: Effective July 1, 2013, the Massachusetts Fiscal Year 2014 budget eliminated the FSC to prevent overlap with federal ACA employer penalties scheduled to go into effect in January 2015. (Such penalties were originally scheduled to become effective in January 2014, but they were delayed.)
Mandatory offer of Section 125 plans. The Massachusetts healthcare reform package also ...