Effective July 1, 2013, employers in Massachusetts do not have to make a fair share contribution (FSC) and are no longer required to collect the employee Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) forms. Both the FSC and the HIRD requirements were repealed as a part of the Commonwealth's Fiscal Year 2014 budget.
Under Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law, employers with 11 or more full time equivalent (FTE) employees were required to make a fair and reasonable contribution toward the cost of health insurance for their employees, or pay an annual FSC of up to $295 per FTE per year. Employers were also required to collect HIRD forms from employees who declined their employer's health care coverage or who declined to use their employer's cafeteria plan as a means to pay for health care coverage obtained through the Massachusetts Health Connector (the Connector), the state agency that helps Massachusetts residents and employers find the right health insurance.
Massachusetts employers are still required to make a cafeteria plan available to employees who are not eligible for the employer's health care coverage. As part of the budget, an employer with 11 or more FTEs is required to notify its employees that the employer complies with the cafeteria plan requirement, and that eligible employees have the right to enroll in either the employer's group health plan or in coverage through the Connector.
The fiscal year 2014 budget includes a new requirement for employers in the form of the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC). Beginning January 1, 2014, employers with more than five employees must pay an annual assessment which will be used to fund a state trust for uninsured residents. The EMAC is equal to 0.36% of all wages up to the Massachusetts unemployment insurance taxable wage base, which is currently $14,000. Special reduced rates apply for the first two years for employers newly subject to the Massachusetts employment law. The EMAC will be collected through the Massachusetts state unemployment tax system.
Massachusetts employers are still required to complete filings for FSC periods prior to July 1, 2013.