Massachusetts Repeals Employer Mandate Through State Budget

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed a $33.6 billion Fiscal Year 2014 budget that includes a repeal of the state’s Fair Share Contribution Program. The program was established under the Commonwealth’s 2006 health care reform law and mandated that employers with 11 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTE) make a “fair and reasonable” contribution toward the health care costs of their full-time workers or pay a $295 per FTE assessment.

The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains an employer mandate for employers with over 50 employees that could have resulted in double penalties if the two policies were to coexist in the state. In January, the governor proposed legislation to eliminate the state’s employer mandate to save administrative costs for Massachusetts’ employers and allow time to prepare for the implementation of the ACA provision. The Obama administration has announced that the penalties associated with the ACA’s employer mandate will not apply until 2015.

“MassHealth and the Health Connector are well-positioned through this budget to successfully implement the ACA in Massachusetts, and continue our national leadership in affordable, high-quality health care,” Deval said, according to a transcript of his remarks when he signed the budget on July 12, 2013.

According to the Massachusetts Health Connector’s 2012 Progress Report, 98.1 percent of all Massachusetts residents have health insurance coverage.

For more information, visit http://www.mahealthconnector.org.

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