Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law

In April of 2006, the Massachusetts Legislature enacted the Health Care Reform Law, landmark legislation to provide health insurance for nearly every man, woman and child in the Commonwealth. The Health Care Reform Law affects everyone. All Massachusetts residents over 18 years of age are required to have health insurance by December 31, 2007. 

Commonwealth Connector
The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority is an independent public authority created to implement significant portions of the new landmark health care reform legislation. The Connector assists qualified Massachusetts adult residents with the purchase of affordable health care coverage if they don’t already have it.

Insurance Partnership
The Insurance Partnership is a program that can help small businesses with uninsured employees pay for health insurance, including the self-employed. The Insurance Partnership is a State and Federally Funded program. The Insurance Partnership is not a health plan. The Insurance Partnership helps pay for health insurance. The website provides links to information brochures in English and Spanish and one for the self-employed.

Arts Health Care Coalition
Provides information about Health Care Reform Law on behalf of artists. However, the website provides helpful information on the general requirements of the law for both individuals and employers.

Health Care for Artists
This site is administered by the The Artists Foundation. The Foundation has a 34 year history of working on artists' health care issues. This free site is for individual artists working in all disciplines to aid them in navigating the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law, its requirements and programs, and the existing available health care options. This site is a resource for finding health care providers, health care resources and information, and health care advocacy organizations. Important proposed health care legislation is posted on this site. There is a glossary and key terms section for you to reference. This site also hosts a guide for Health Care Organizations and Advocacy Groups enrolling artists working in all disciplines into the Health Care Reform's options and existing health care options.

National Health Care Tax Credit
The new national health reform law (PPACA) signed into law by the President on March 30, 2010 includes a small business health care tax credit, effective immediately, which is designed to help small employers offer health insurance coverage for the first time or maintain coverage they already have.
  • The credit is available to small employers that pay at least half of the cost of individual coverage for their employees in 2010. The credit is specifically targeted to help small businesses and tax-exempt organizations that primarily employ low and middle-income workers.
  • For tax years 2010 to 2013, the maximum credit is 35% of premiums paid by eligible small business employers and 25% of premiums paid by eligible employers that are tax-exempt (non-profit) organizations. The maximum credit goes to the smallest employers, those with ten or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, paying annual average wages of $25,000 or less, but partial credits are available for employers with up to 25 FTEs and with average wages up to $50,000. Because the eligibility rules are based in part on the number of FTEs, not the number of employees, businesses that use part-time help may qualify even if they employ more than 25 individuals.
  • Eligible small businesses can claim the credit as part of the general business credit starting with the 2010 income tax return they file in 2011. For tax-exempt organizations, the IRS will provide further information on how to claim the credit.
Additional Information
The IRS has issued several materials and resources to help employers determine if they are eligible, and if so, how to go about getting the tax credit: