MA Employers Required to Cover Health Care

September 12, 2006 ( - Massachusetts regulators set the final rule last week that will require employers with 11 employees or less to make contributions to employee health plans.

For employers this will mean that those who do not insure at least 25% of their workforce will have to pay at last one-third the cost of individual premiums to circumvent a $295 per employee fee each year.

The regulation says that an employer with at least 25% of full time employees enrolled in the employer’s health plan is exempt from the fee. The percentage of enrolled employees is calculated by dividing the total payroll hours of enrolled full time employees by the total payroll hours of full time employees.

According to the Boston Globe, the DHCFP left out a provision that would have required employers to file the health status of each of their employees.

The standards clarify that employee leasing companies will be responsible for calculating and submitting the minimum $295 assessment on behalf of their client companies, the newspaper reported. They also allow for an exclusion for employees exempted by the state Department of Revenue based on religious grounds.

The final regulation by the state’s Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP) differs only slightly from an earlier proposal, which drew opposition from Governor Mitt Romney (See  Romney Vetoes Per-Employee Health Coverage Charge ). However, the Massachusetts Senate overturned the veto by the governor in May (See Mass. Senate Votes To Fine Employers Not Providing Health Insurance ).