Big Massachusetts Businesses: Key Health Reform Changes

The core of the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law by President Obama in March 2010, is the establishment of state health insurance exchanges and an individual mandate, which requires most Americans have health insurance effective January 1, 2014. For Massachusetts, the changes are not as profound as they are for the rest of the country. The Massachusetts Health Care Reform of 2006, the model for the ACA, has already established an exchange, the Massachusetts Health Connector, and has a mandate in place.

Most changes brought on by the full implementation of the ACA will be felt by uninsured individuals and small businesses–those with fewer than 50 employees–as the ACA offers subsidies, tax credits and increased health insurance options for these groups. Larger firms in Massachusetts, 98 percent of which offer their employees health benefits, will see some changes beginning January 2014 as provisions of the ACA place new requirements on these employers.

Employer notification to employees about the health insurance marketplace

In an effort to ensure all Americans are aware of their health care options under the ACA, the law requires businesses inform their employees about health plans and financial assistance available through the health insurance marketplace. No later than October 1, 2013, employers must provide notice to current full-time and part-time employees. New employees must receive notification when hired. The Department of Labor provides a sample notice that employers may use to comply with this rule.

The Federal Employer Shared Responsibility Payment

Under the Massachusetts law, businesses with 11 or more employees were required to contribute a minimum amount to their employees’ health insurance premiums or pay a Fair Share Contribution of up to $295 per employee. In July 2013, Governor Deval Patrick signed legislation repealing this provision in anticipation of the …read more

Source: CBS local Boston

    

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