MassHealth Reinstates HIRD Reporting for Employer Sponsored Health Plans

The Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) form is a new state reporting requirement in Massachusetts beginning in 2018. This form differs from the original HIRD form that was passed into law in 2006 and repealed in 2014. The 2018 form is administered by MassHealth and the Department of Revenue (DOR) through the MassTaxConnect (MTC) web portal. The HIRD form is intended to assist MassHealth in identifying its members with access to employer sponsored health insurance who may be eligible for the MassHealth Premium Assistance Program. The HIRD form is required annually beginning in 2018. The reporting period opens on November 1 and must be completed by November 30 of the filing year. 

Any employers with six or more employees in Massachusetts in any month during the past 12 months preceding the due date of the form (November 30th of the reporting year) are required to annually submit a HIRD form. An individual is considered to be an employee if they were included on the employer’s quarterly wage report to the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) during the past 12 months. This includes all employment categories, full-time and part-time.

The HIRD form is reported through MassTaxConnect (MTC) web portal (https://mtc.dor.state.ma.us/mtc/_/#1). The MTC is where employer-taxpayers register to file returns, forms and make tax payments. To file your HIRD form, login to your MTC withholding account and select the “file health insurance responsibility disclosure” hyperlink. If you do not have a MTC account or you forgot your password or username, follow the prompts on the site or call the DOR at 614-466-3940.

INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR HIRD REPORTING

The HIRD Form will collect information about the employer’s insurance offerings, including:

  • Plan Information – plan year, renewal date.
  • Summary of benefits for all available health plans – information regarding in and out of network deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums can be found on the plan’s summary of benefits and coverage.
  • Eligibility criteria for insurance offerings – minimum probationary periods and hours worked per week to be eligible for coverage.  Employment based categories, such as full-time, part-time, hourly, salaried.
  • Total monthly premiums of all available health plans
  • Employer and employee shares of monthly premiums – information on employer and employee monthly contributions toward the cost of medical. Employer cost of coverage is your COBRA rate less 2% and less the employee contribution.

Due to the nature of the filing online, employers with employees in Massachusetts will need to complete this reporting themselves. However, Diversified Group may be able to assist you in the gathering of the required information. Please contact us by November 15th  if you need assistance with accumulating data.

Mass.gov has compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding the HIRD form here.

Outrageously High Healthcare Costs in Massachusetts Becoming Major Problem That Needs Solving

Recently, we came across a smart video that showcased Dr. Howard Grant, Pediatrician and CEO of Lahey Health, addressing the fact that healthcare costs in the state of Massachusetts are the highest in the nation. Not only did he give his opinion on why this is the case, but he also discussed what must by done by all – health systems, government, providers, employers, insurers and consumers – to solve this problem and bring the state back in line with the rest of the country.

Dr. Grant believes the driving factor in this gap is the fact that, “residents of Massachusetts receive superb care, but all too often they receive that care in the most costly setting possible.” He asks, “Why do consumers, employers and insurers choose higher cost settings for most of their hospitalization needs…especially when studies have shown that price variations are not correlated to quality of care?”

Brooks Goodison, President of Diversified Group, weighed in on the issue at hand and the video content put forth by Dr. Howard Grant:

Helping employers provide high quality health plans for their employees is a daunting task at times. Today, I found a ray of hope from an unexpected place. I strongly encourage you to take 16 minutes out of your day to listen to this video from Howard Grant, CEO of Lahey Health System in Massachusetts. Dr. Grant is also a pediatrician. I give him credit for getting out in front of a problem that his system is clearly part of. It is steps like this that will help us ALL move in the right direction. I think that EVERYONE needs to understand what Dr. Grant is saying here. Please use this as a way to educate yourself and perhaps change the way you think about healthcare. This is a great starting point to understanding and moving in the direction of a solution. Our healthcare system is an irrational market with very little, if any, meaningful competition. I think we can all agree that the path we are on is unsustainable. Just look at what we are losing in opportunity cost alone. The more we spend on healthcare the less we have for salaries, growth of our business, education, retirement and public resources.

At Diversified Group, we will continue to do our part but we cannot do this successfully alone. We all need to learn, dig in and do our parts. We need everyone involved – most importantly your employees and their dependents all the way to the stop-loss carriers and everyone in between if we want to make a meaningful change in how we pay for healthcare.

Watch the full video here: https://www.linkedin.com/hp/update/6151466097473261568