As we reported in our post earlier today, the Obama administration has decided to delay implementation of the “employer shared responsibility” mandate for in order to afford employers more time to prepare for compliance. Many of our clients doing business in Massachusetts are wondering, given this delay, whether and for how long the “Fair Share” employer mandate will continue to apply. The Fair Share law, M.G.L. c. 149, § 188, requires employers in Massachusetts to either provide compliant coverage to employees or pay a penalty of $295 per employee per year.
We will know more once the Commonwealth completes its 2014 budget process (now in the final stages). The current version of the budget, (H 3538). which was approved by the Massachusetts Legislature earlier this week, includes a provision repealing the employer Fair Share requirements effective July 1, 2013; this version is now awaiting Governor Patrick’s review and signature. Although Governor Patrick has expressed support of the July 1, 2013 repeal, it is unclear whether he will change course given the Obamacare delay.
For more information on the Fair Share Law and the Massachusetts budget process, please see our advisories here and here.
We will keep our readers posted as these issues develop.