Mass. Senate Votes To Fine Employers Not Providing Health Insurance

May 5, 2006 ( - The Massachusetts Senate struck down Thursday a veto by the governor of a provision that would force an assessment of employers that do not provide health insurance.

The provision, vetoed by Governor Mitt Romney last month, will require employers with at least 11 employees that do not offer health insurance to make a fair contribution toward that coverage or pay an annual $295-per-employee fee, according to Business Insurance.

The Senate overturned Romney’s veto on a 31-9 vote, following an similar move by the House in April (See MA House Overrides Vetoes of Health Care Bill ) for a measure that will for the most part subsidize health insurance payments in the state’s low income residents, according to the news report. 

The number of Massachusetts residents that are now without health insurance stands at a little more than half a million, and the lawmakers hope the bill will by a big move toward reducing that number by about 95% over the next three years, Business Insurance reported.

The bill also requires all residents not under the poverty line to have health insurance or lose their state tax exemption that is worth $150 per person (See MA Bill Requires Citizens to Purchase Health Insurance ).