Three-fourths of MA Employers Offer Health Insurance Coverage

July 27, 2011 ( – A survey report from the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy finds 77% of employers in the state offered health insurance in 2010, up slightly from 76% in 2009.

This compares with 69% of employers nationwide that offer health insurance coverage.  

Compared to smaller employers, firms with more than 50 employees (97%) are the most likely to offer health insurance coverage.  Nearly all large firms offering health insurance offer at least one plan through a pre-tax IRS Section 125 Plan (92%) compared with 66% of firms with 50 or fewer employees.  

Currently employers with more than 10 employees must pay up to $295 per uninsured employee per year. This is probably the reason why the survey found the smallest employers (ten or fewer employees) were less likely to offer health insurance (69%) than larger firms (97%).  

Forty percent of firms with 11 or more employees report that they are not familiar with the Fair Share Contribution policy under Massachusetts Health Reform.  

According to the report, most firms that do not offer health insurance coverage to their employees choose not to do so because premiums are too high (92%), their firm is too small (88%), or they think their employees have access to coverage through some other means (82%). Seventy-one percent of Massachusetts employers report that their part-time employees are not eligible for their employer-offered health insurance. Small employers with 50% or more of their employees working part time are the least likely to offer health insurance.  

The majority of employees who are eligible for their employer’s health insurance coverage enroll in the plan (75%). This rate is similar among employers of all sizes.   

The survey also found employers’ percent contribution to health plan premium costs increased slightly for both individual and family health plans in 2010 compared with 2009. The median monthly employer contribution was 75% for an individual health plan and 70% for a family health plan in 2010. In 2009, the median employer contribution was 72% for an individual health plan and 68% for a family health plan.   

Results released last month of a poll by the Harvard School of Public Health and The Boston Globe indicated 63% of Massachusetts residents support the health care reform legislation enacted in 2006 (see More MA Residents Support Health Care Reform).  

The Massachusetts Employer Survey 2010 can be accessed from here.