Under the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law, employers with 11 or more full-time equivalent employees must offer access to one or more health coverage options to eligible Massachusetts employees through a Section 125 Plan.

The Health Connector was created by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to help connect Massachusetts residents with a choice of comprehensive, affordable health insurance options. Employers may make available the Health Connector's Commonwealth Choice health insurance plans on an employee-pay-all, pre-tax basis via their Section 125 Plan. This is referred to as a Commonwealth Choice Voluntary Plan.

Under a Commonwealth Choice Voluntary Plan, the employer does not contribute to the cost of the Commonwealth Choice coverage.

Contributory Plans

The Commonwealth Choice Contributory Plan is a new way for you to offer a choice of comprehensive health plans from up to six brand name health insurance carriers to eligible employees. It is available to Massachusetts small businesses with 50 or fewer eligible employees. The Contributory Plan is a group health plan with list bill rates. Premiums are based on your business's size, industry, and location but are adjusted for each employee's age. Commonwealth Choice plans are available in three tiers - Gold, Silver, and Bronze - and represent a wide range of health benefits. All these plans have earned the Health Connector's Seal of Approval and meet the state's requirements for Minimum Creditable Coverage (MCC).

When you decide to purchase the Contributory Plan, you select a Commonwealth Choice plan as your Benchmark Plan and decide on the amount to contribute to that plan. Eligible employees can then select either the Benchmark Plan or another available Commonwealth Choice plan within the same plan benefit tier.

Employees who select the Benchmark Plan contribute the same dollar amount, by coverage type, regardless of their list bill rates. If employees choose a more expensive plan, they pay the additional amount. If they choose a less expensive plan, they pay less.

Note: You must contribute at least 50% toward the Benchmark Plan premiums for employees and 25% toward the Benchmark Plan premiums for dependents.