Massachusetts Legislature Dictates Healthcare Costs for Companies
The Massachusetts legislature passed a new healthcare reform measure on Tuesday that Governor Mitt Romney is expected to sign into law. The legislation includes an assessment for employers of up to $295 per employee that is intended to offset $45 million in state healthcare costs. The assessment applies to companies with 11 or more employees, but such companies would only be forced to pay the tax on each employee who is not insured.
The legislation takes effect on July 1, 2006 and seeks to ensure that 90% – 95% of the state’s residents have health insurance coverage by July 1, 2008. The law further dictates that Massachusetts residents not already covered by personally-funded or employer-funded plans buy health insurance by July 1, 2007. According to Stuart Altman, professor of health policy at American Staffing Association, which refers to the legislation as a job killer, a designation not to be taken lightly among Massachusetts’ unemployed and those legislators who are at least partially responsible for trying to create more jobs.