Have Questions About the New HIRD Form? Brabo Benefits Can Help

Massachusetts state law requires every employer in Massachusetts with six or more employees to annually submit a HIRD (Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure) form. An employer who currently has (or had) six or more employees in any month during the past 12 months preceding the due date of this form (November 30, 2018 for the current year), were required to complete the HIRD form.

An individual is considered to be an employee if the employee is subject to Unemployment Wage Reporting. Employers who reported six or more employees on any DUA wage report during the past 12 months are required to complete the HIRD form.

Business owners should have received a notice from the state of Massachusetts on new 2018 HIRD form requirements. The HIRD form collects employer-level information about your employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) offerings. The HIRD reporting is administered by MassHealth and the Department of Revenue (DOR) through the MassTaxConnect (MTC) web portal. The HIRD form will assist MassHealth in identifying its members with access to qualifying ESI who may be eligible for the MassHealth Premium Assistance Program.

“We have seen a lot of confusion from our clients in trying to file this form, confusion on where to find it online, what plans and premiums to report and whether they are required to file or not,” said Scott Hokanson, of Brabo Benefits, Inc. “Employers with a large number of MassHealth enrollees may expect to see new enrollees in their health plan next year. The state is gathering this information, in essence, to help find other avenues to insure people who are on MassHealth today. That other avenue is employers in Massachusetts.”

What is the difference between this new HIRD reporting requirement and the old HIRD form? This HIRD form is different from the old HIRD form that was passed into law in 2006, and later repealed in 2014. The old HIRD form consisted of an employer form and an employee form, which required separate forms completed and signed by each employee who declined to enroll in ESI or the Employer’s Section 125 Cafeteria Plan to pay for health insurance.

In contrast, the new HIRD form only consists of a single employer form, which only needs to be completed once annually for your company. The new HIRD form does not contain any personal information about your employees. It will be used to inform MassHealth about employers’ ESI offerings and allow more MassHealth members to enroll in Premium Assistance.

“This should help the state by transitioning MassHealth enrollees to employer based coverage, but mostly at the cost of small employers,” Hokanson said. “What the state is doing is right, but the cost will be real to my clients. If three families are added to one of my clients’ health plans, that client will have an additional $1600 per month per family, or close to $5,000 per month in health care bills.”

Brabo Benefits, Inc. can help update you on your responsibility with the new HIRD form. Brabo has recently held training seminars to update business owners on the new law, and can answer all of your health insurance questions, while addressing your responsibility to your employees.

Contact Scott Hokanson at Brabo Benefits, Inc. today, and he will walk you through all you need to know. Call 508-830-3800 or email him at shokanson@brabobenefits.com.

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About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo is the Marketing Writer and Lifestyle Reporter for CapeCod.com, and has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.

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