Rate of Employer Coverage Rises After Massachusetts Health Reform

In the seven years since Massachusetts enacted its universal healthcare law, the number of people covered by insurance through the workplace increased, running counter to nationwide trends. Employer-sponsored insurance rose about 1% in Massachusetts while the national rate fell 5.7%. The Massachusetts growth occurred in the midst of the recession and at a time when health insurance premiums in the state rose to the highest levels in the nation, according to a study by PwC’s Health Research Institute.
Michael Thompson of PwC said, “Health insurance benefits are a significant part of the total compensation package for a workforce, and that’s not likely to go away when the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect. Employer-sponsored coverage will continue to be a critical pillar of the U.S. health system. It has been an important part of employer strategy to attract and retain talent, and promote improved health and productivity. Most employers see this return on investment, alone, as a compelling reason to continue offering coverage.”

A combination of salary and health benefits through an employer is likely to be more efficient way to be compensated for Americans earning more than 400% of the federal poverty level or about $45,960, according to researchers. Due to federal tax exclusions, businesses can save thousands of dollars per-employee by using that compensation strategy. The second report on the Massachusetts Experience, to be later this month, will take a closer look at the implications for the state’s hospitals, physicians and insurers. To download the report, visit: http://www.pwc.com/us/Massachusettshealthreform.

Last Updated 11/25/2020

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