November Employee Benefits Blog

2023 MASSACHUSETTS HIRD FORM FILING WINDOW APPROACHES FOR EMPLOYERS

11/06/2023 Written by: George Thompson, Esq.

Massachusetts HIRD Form Information

Attention: Massachusetts Employers with Six or More Employees in Massachusetts. The Annual Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) form is due no later than December 15, 2023. Filing can be done as early as November 15, 2023 on the MassTaxConnect (MTC) Web Portal.

1. Which Massachusetts Employers Must File the HIRD Form?

Massachusetts state law requires every employer with six or more employees to annually submit a HIRD form. If you are an in-state or out-of-state employer who had six or more employees who were employed within the state of Massachusetts during the past 12 months, you are required to complete the HIRD form. An individual is considered to be your employee if you as the employer reported the individual in any quarterly wage report submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) during the past 12 months.

If you are an out-of-state employer that is not required to file a quarterly wage report to the DUA, an individual is considered to be your employee if they are hired for a wage or salary in Massachusetts to perform work, regardless of full-time or part-time status.

Employers that are no longer in business are not required to file the HIRD form.

If you employ or employed six or more employees in Massachusetts, you will need to submit a HIRD form. Employees would be defined as full-time, part-time, or any employee that is hired to perform work for a wage or salary in Massachusetts, regardless of if you were required to file a DUA report.

2. Why Do Employers Need to Do It?

In 2018, the state of Massachusetts re-introduced the HIRD form, which originated under Massachusetts Health Care Reform in 2006. The HIRD form is a state reporting requirement that collects information about your employer-sponsored insurance (ESI). The HIRD reporting is administered by MassHealth and the Department of Revenue (DOR) through the MTC web portal. The HIRD form will assist MassHealth in identifying its members with access to qualifying ESI who may be eligible for the MassHealth Premium Assistance Program.

The HIRD form consists of questions related to each medical plan that you offer. Some information such as deductibles and out-of-pocket maximum levels may be found within your Summary of Benefits.

You may also be asked to provide:

  • Eligibility waiting periods;

  • Minimum hours worked per week to qualify for health insurance;

  • Any eligibility categories i.e. full-time, part-time, salary, hourly;

  • Plan Year/Renewal Date; and

  • Monthly cost for each plan including employer and employee cost share

The HIRD form does not seek information about non-major medical benefits such as dental and vision coverage.

3. How Do Employers File More Specifically?

The state of Massachusetts provided the following instructions on filing through the MTC Web Portal:

  • Login to your MTC withholding account here.

  • Select the “File health insurance responsibility disclosure” hyperlink under the account alerts.

If you do not have an MTC account, or if you forgot your password or username, you may follow the instructions provided on the MTC web page (https://mtc.dor.state.ma.us/mtc/_/#1) or contact the DOR at 617-466-3940.

While it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the HIRD form is timely filed, the HIRD form may be filed on the MTC portal by either you or your payroll provider. You may want to contact your payroll provider to determine if they will provide this service on your behalf. Generally, payroll providers do not have access to all of the pertinent information required to complete the on-line form. As a result, it is best to work in conjunction with your health insurance broker and other health insurance vendors to file the HIRD form(s).

4. What Is the Penalty for Non-Compliance?

An employer who knowingly falsifies or fails to file any information required on the HIRD form shall be subject to a penalty of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000 for each violation.

5. Where Can Employers Get More Information?

  • Massachusetts has released helpful guidance and Frequently Asked Questions related to the HIRD form that can be found here.
  • M.G.L. Chapter 118E, Section 78: Employer Healthcare Coverage Form.
  • Massachusetts Department of Revenue (HIRD Form Customer Service) 617-466-3940

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