Governor Patrick Signs New Health Care Law

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On August 6, 2012, Governor Patrick signed into law “An Act improving the quality of

health care and reducing costs through increased transparency, efficiency and innovation” as Chapter 224 of the Acts of 2012. The stated aim of this legislation is to help moderate increases in consumer and business insurance premiums, as health care costs have increased by 6-7% annually in Massachusetts, while the state economy has only grown by 3.7%.

Under the new law, businesses will receive "wellness tax credits," if they adopt programs to combat preventable chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and asthma. The law also makes changes to the Fair Share Contribution mandate established by the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act passed in 2006 that may protect more employers from the Fair Share Contribution penalty. Unless otherwise noted, the provisions of the law become effective 90 days after its passage.

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