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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Friday, October 5, 2007

Who’s not offering health insurance?

By Alice Dembner, Globe Staff

In the first week of a 6-week filing period, only four Massachusetts companies fessed up to not providing health insurance for their full-time workers, according to figures from the administration of Governor Deval Patrick.

The state’s universal health insurance law requires companies with 11 or more employees to offer insurance or pay a fee of up to $295 per employee per year. To enforce this provision, companies must report by Nov. 15 whether they paid for insurance for at least one-quarter of their full-time workers or offered to pay at least one-third of an individual’s premium in the last year. Firms that don’t meet either of these tests must pay the fee.

From Monday through the end of business Thursday, about 860 companies with 11 or more employees filed. But only four said they would be subject to the fee. At least partial payment of the fee is due by Nov. 15.

State officials said they had no idea how many companies are required to file. But US Census figures from 2005 suggest there may be as many as 40,000 Massachusetts companies with 11 or more workers.

Posted by Karen Weintraub at 06:01 PM
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