Patrick Administration Proposes Elimination of Fair Share Contribution Requirements

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On Tuesday, January 8, 2013, the Deval Patrick administration filed An Act to Support Employers in the Commonwealth. This new legislation, if enacted, will repeal the Fair Share Contribution program effective June 30, 2013. The Fair Share Contribution program, in effect since 2006, requires that employers doing business in Massachusetts either provide health coverage to full time employees that satisfies certain rules, or pay a contribution to the Commonwealth equaling $295 per employee per year.

These changes are proposed in recognition of the Federal Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, which is similar to the Commonwealth’s Fair Share requirements and which will take effect in 2014. According to the Patrick administration’s press release, the proposed legislation, if enacted, “will save significant administrative costs for Massachusetts employers; allow time to prepare for the implementation of the ACA [Affordable Care Act] provision; and ensure the state is streamlining possibly duplicative programs and assessments.”

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