The Health Care Reform Act, which became effective July 1, 2007, is Massachusetts' plan to reduce the number of people in the state who have no health insurance.
Massachusetts residents age 18 or older must carry health insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum standards set by the state. Penalties for non-compliance are through the Massachusetts income tax system and individuals who do not enroll in health insurance by December 31, 2007 will lose their state personal income tax exemption when filing their 2007 state taxes. The tax penalty will be more severe for 2008.
Fisher College's medical plan exceeds the state's minimum standards. Therefore, if you are enrolled in Fisher College's medical plan, you and any of your family members who are covered under the Fisher insurance plan will meet the requirements of the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act for as long as you maintain such insurance. If you are enrolled in health insurance through a source other than Fisher College, and you are not certain if the insurance meets the Health Care Reform Act's requirements, you can seek guidance from the state at: www.mahealthconnector.org.
Each employee who has declined to enroll in Fisher College's sponsored health insurance or "premium only" Section 125 plan must sign a Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) Form indicating that he or she is aware of the state's individual mandate to have health insurance and the penalties that go along with not having health insurance. Fisher's Human Resources Department will distribute these HIRD forms to the Fisher employees who are legally required to complete such forms.
Effective January 1, 2007, Fisher College's medical insurance plan allows employees to cover their dependents on the College's plan up to age 26, or for two calendar years past the loss of dependent status under the Internal Revenue Code, whichever comes first. The next opportunity that Fisher employees will have to enroll their eligible dependents in Fisher medical plans is during our Annual Open Enrollment period that occurs in the winter with an effective date of March 1st of every year or within 31 days of the eligible dependent's loss of other health coverage.
If your children or other dependents are not covered under an eligible family insurance plan, they may need to obtain separate insurance through the Connector. Please be aware that individuals aged 19-26 years old are eligible for special insurance products through the Connector.
For additional information on the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Act, please visit the Web site at www.mahealthconnector.org.