Health Care Reform for Employers

If you're an employer, there are several things you need to know about health care reform.

Under the Affordable Care Act, employers are responsible for making sure that health insurance is available to as many people as possible.

To learn more about the Affordable Care Act, how it affects employers, and how it has been aligned with state health reform policies, see the ACA Employer’s Guide.

Your obligations

If you're self-employed and can afford to buy a health insurance plan but don't, you will be penalized for each month you don't have insurance. However, you can appeal the penalty if a hardship prevented you from buying insurance.

The only employer reporting requirement relates to the Form MA 1099-HC. In Massachusetts, most insurance carriers will:

  • Issue this form on behalf of employers, and  
  • Send us a report listing all the Form MA 1099-HCs they issued.

If you're an employer issuing Form MA 1099-HC directly to your employees instead, you need to file a report with us. See the "Submitting information to DOR" section below.

You can get information on more employer reporting responsibilities from Massachusetts Health Connector.

Additional Resources

Form MA 1099-HC

Filing the form

If you're filing a paper return, attach a copy of your Form MA 1099-HC to your income tax return. If you haven't received a copy of your 1099-HC form, try to get one from your insurance carrier. If you still can't get a copy of your 1099-HC form, you may submit your return without the form attached. Please note that this could delay the processing of your tax return. Electronic filing is the quickest and most efficient way to file your tax return with us.

There is no standardized format for the Form MA 1099-HC. It may vary depending on carrier. However, the information fields must be consistent and convey the information that you need to transcribe over to the Schedule HC. 

If someone calls you, a carrier/employer, to request a copy of a previous year's Form MA 1099-HC, you don't need to send us anything if we have the data from that year already. You can't mix tax years, but you do need to be able to send data for prior tax years if it wasn't actually sent that year.

For example, in 2012 a former customer asks you to generate a Form MA 1099-HC for 2007. If the carrier had already sent it in 2007, send us nothing new - that data from 2007 will still be here in our database. If you didn't send anything to us electronically in 2007 for some reason, it should come in its own transmission/file, with the Tax Year element set accordingly. Carriers may also use the 1099-HC Mapped Data Upload tool to send additions to previous years' data.

Company names and mailing addresses

If a parent company will be sending out Forms MA 1099-HC for its operating companies, it doesn't matter what appears in Line 1. You can list either the parent company's name or the individual business entity's name, as long as what you electronically reported to us and what you sent to the taxpayer on the Form MA 1099-HC are consistent and the FID numbers are the same.

If a subscriber has a mailing address that is different from their default address, it doesn't matter which address you send to us or put on the Form MA 1099-HC. Please make sure what you send to both us and the taxpayer is consistent.

If a dependent has a different mailing address, it doesn't matter, since dependents don't have to receive Form MA 1099-HC. Only the primary subscriber has to receive Form MA 1099-HC. However, carriers may choose to send separate forms to dependents. If a dependent needs to file a Schedule HC, they can:

  • Get the necessary information from the subscriber's Form MA 1099-HC, or
  • Request a separate one from the carrier.

Delivering the form

As a carrier/employer, you don't have to mail Forms MA 1099-HC to Medicare subscribers. This applies to both Supplemental and Replacement plans.

The amount of attempts you make to deliver letters that are sent back as "undeliverable" via U.S. mail is your own internal decision. There is no tax information on the Form MA 1099-HC, so we have no position on mail returned from the post office.


If you are a carrier, employer, or other sponsor of employment-sponsored health plans who is obligated to issue Form MA 1099-HC but fail to do so, you could be subject to a penalty of $50 per individual you failed to issue the form to, up to a maximum of $50,000.

Submitting information to DOR

As an employer, you cannot file Form MA 1099-HC information with a paper form. If your insurance company isn't filing the Form MA 1099-HC on your behalf, you can submit healthcare data to us.


You can upload XML files through MassTaxConnect. There is no particular software you have to use. If you are creating the XML file in-house, there are many XML development tools available. Commercial vendors in the marketplace can also help you if needed.

Visit Learn about health care reform as an insurance carrier to learn more.

Additional Resources


Page updated: January 15, 2020

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