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Legal Updates

DHCPF Rings In The New Year With A New HIRD Form

The Massachusetts Division of Health Care Policy and Finance (“DHCPF”) has issued a new 2009 Employee Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure Form (“HIRD Form”), which replaces the 2008 version.

Massachusetts employers with 11 or more full-time equivalent employees (“reporting employers”) must obtain a completed HIRD Form from each employee who either:

  • Declines to enroll in the employer-sponsored health insurance plan; and/or
  • Declines to participate in the employer’s Section 125 plan.

Reporting employers must obtain a signed HIRD Form from each such employee upon the earliest of (as applicable):

  • Thirty days after the close of each open enrollment period for the reporting employer’s health insurance plan;
  • Thirty days after the close of each open enrollment period for the reporting employer’s Section 125 plan; or
  • September 30th of the reporting year.

Reporting employers must also collect signed HIRD forms within thirty days of either of the following:  (1) the date a new hire waives employer-sponsored health plan participation and/or Section 125 plan participation, or (2) the date an employee waives or terminates health plan participation and/or Section 125 plan participation.

Reporting employers must return a copy of the signed HIRD Form to the employee and retain the original signed HIRD Form for three years.  If an employee does not return the signed HIRD Form upon request, then the reporting employer must document its efforts to obtain the signed HIRD Form.

Portuguese and Spanish versions of the 2009 HIRD Form should be available shortly.

Please note that an employer is a “reporting employer” subject to the HIRD requirement if the sum of payroll hours for all employees who have worked at least one month from October 1 through September 30, capped at 2000 hours per employee, divided by 2000, is greater than or equal to 11.  Payroll hours include all hours for which an employer paid wages, including regular, vacation, sick, Family and Medical Leave Act, short-term disability, long-term disability, overtime and holiday hours.

We are available to assist you in complying with the HIRD requirement, and to address any questions that you may have regarding this requirement or the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law in general.