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The Obamacare Delays and the Massachusetts "Fair Share" Employer Mandate: Now What?

As we reported in July 3rd post, 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. 

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About this Author

Patricia Moran, Employment, Attorney, Mintz Levin, Law firm
Of Counsel

Patricia counsels clients on a variety of employee benefits and compensation matters. Notably, Patricia represents clients in a board variety of health and welfare plan matters, including the Affordable Care Act’s employer and insurance mandates, the Massachusetts “Fair Share” employer mandate, COBRA, HIPAA, wellness, and mental health parity. Patricia has represented clients in multiple audits and examinations initiated by government agencies with respect to health and welfare plan matters, including the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (...

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