Massachusetts Adds New HIRD Submission Requirement For Employers

On Oct. 24, 2018, MA DOL published a new FAQ document regarding the new Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) reporting requirement that goes into effect for 2018. The HIRD is an online reporting requirement that employers must complete on or before Nov. 30, 2018.

Though this new 2018 HIRD form has the same name as an earlier 2006 form requirement, it doesn’t relate to this prior filing. The previous HIRD form required employers to provide the number of full-time and part-time employees and whether the employer offered subsidized health insurance coverage. This HIRD requirement was suspended after it was determined to be redundant under the ACA’s employer mandate. The new HIRD does not have any individualized information and does not require employees to provide any information.

Employers with at least six employees (including all categories of employees) in MA, (regardless of whether they offer health insurance) must state whether they offered to pay or arrange for the purchase of health care insurance and information about such health care insurance such as: the total employer and employee premium cost, benefits and coverage levels offered, the in-network deductible, the maximum out-of-pocket expenses, cost-sharing details, eligibility criteria, whether the plan meets the MA minimum creditable coverage requirements, and other information deemed necessary by the division. If an employer knowingly falsifies or fails to file any required HIRD information, they may be subject to a penalty of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000 for each violation.

This new HIRD form is an online submission that collects employer-level information about employer-sponsored health plans to assist MassHealth in identifying members who can participate in and who may be eligible for premium assistance from MassHealth. To complete the form, employers visit the MassTaxConnect online portal that is being administered by MassHealth and the Department of Revenue. Under the MassHealth program, if an employee qualifies for premium assistance, MassHealth will pay the subsidy directly to the employee. Information collected through this form shall not be used to deny or terminate MassHealth eligibility for non-disabled persons who would otherwise qualify for a program of medical benefits who have access to employer sponsored health insurance.

Though the employer is ultimately responsible for ensuring the information is provided in a timely and accurate manner, the published FAQ indicates that the form may be completed by an employer or its payroll vendor. Employers that maintain multiple plan options must disclose each plan.

The form is available online now and employers must complete the online filing by Nov. 30, 2018 (and during the filing period of Nov. 1 through Nov. 30 annually thereafter).