Federal and Mass. Health Reform May Conflict

June 17, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Differences between the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the Massachusetts health care law may affect employers with Massachusetts employees.

A bulletin from Towers Watson said the individual mandate under the Massachusetts health care law will apparently remain in effect in 2014. So, Massachusetts residents must ensure they meet both the minimum essential coverage (MEC) requirement imposed by the PPACA and the minimum creditable coverage (MCC) requirement imposed by the Massachusetts law in order to avoid penalties under those laws.

Differences between the PPACA and Massachusetts requirements may require employers to obtain a certification (waiver) from the Massachusetts Health Connector (the Connector) to ensure their employees do not face penalties under the state health care reform law. The Massachusetts employer mandate also remains in effect for 2014, barring any last-minute action by Massachusetts state legislators.

Towers Watson determined that some key action items for employers include:

  • Reviewing their plans to determine whether the coverage meets the Massachusetts MCC requirements;
  • If coverage does not meet the MCC requirements, employers ensuring they have a certification from the Connector. Employers that do not have a certification should file for one; and
  • Those with employees in Massachusetts may want to communicate that such employees will be subject to both the federal and state requirements, and let them know whether their health coverage meets the state standards.


Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has proposed updating the state’s universal health care regulations in anticipation of provisions of the PPACA (see “Mass.Governor Proposes Changes to State Health Law”).

More information is here.