A Guide for Artists Run Spaces, Organizations, and Small Businesses (this page was updated 10/21/11)

The Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law has created new responsibilities for non profits organizations, for profit arts organizations, and arts related businesses. If you are an all volunteer organization and do not pay anyone for their services (i.e. you don't have a paid staff, contract staff, or paid seasonal temporary staff) chances are your organization is not going to have that many new responsibilities under this new law. As of yet you do not have to file new state paper work stating you do not have any employees. See also the Connectors' FAQs for employers.

It is important for all employers to know that most Massachusetts individuals 18 or older, under the health care reform law's the individual mandate , will have to prove on their State income taxes that they have had health insurance coverage to avoid the financial penalties of the law. Every employer should familiarize themrself with the Independent Contractor 2004 law change, and what the new requirements are for those employers with part time employees, seasonal employees and/or temporary employees. As an employer you need to know about the state's Minimum Creditable Coverage Requirements (MCC)for health insurance.

There are some key agencies and their "nicknames" employers need to know: the Massachusetts Health Connector (the Connector), the Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP), the Department of Revenue (DOR), and MassHealth.

*DO NOT CALL DUA'S HELPLINE FOR ASSISTANCE -We have documented proof that calling the DUA helpline for Fair Share Contribution (FSC) help in filling out the online forms or for general FSC questions triggers an audit and information gathered on such calls to the helpline is used as evidence in a DUA FSC audit/investigation.. Please contact us at healthcareforartists.org if you have andy FSC filing questions: hfainfo (at) healthcareforartists.org

If you have employees, you need to know how to count your number of full-time-equivalent employees to find out what, if anything, you are required to do as an employer under the health care reform law.

If you have 11 or more full-time-equivalent employees you will need to abide by several key requirements and even if you don't have 11 full time equivalent employees there are some news requirements. Starting in January 2009-new rules went into effect for all employers and also for those employers who have 50 or more full time equivalent employees. Please note that any business or non profit that has a DUA number has to file the Fair Share Contribution online form- even if they do not have 11 or more full time equivalent employees. HIRD form information for those who have to file.

A VERY important warning: If you have hired an outside company or person to make sure your company is compliant with the new health care reform business regulations (ie they are filing all of the appropriate paper work/forms for the MA health care reform law) and if that entity doesn't file or files wrong, you are still liable for ANY fine -not the company/person you hired. In other words buyer beware as the risk stays with you!


It is very important know how to count your full-time-equivalent employees (Note you are counting hours worked, not people!) See our page - How to calculate the number of full time equivalent employees *


If you don't have 11 or more full-time equivalent employees- you are exempt from any of the requirements on this page.


If you have 11 or more full-time equivalent employees-but less than 50 full-time equivalent employees, you have several requirement to abide by. Please see our page for those employers: FTE 11 *

If you have 50 or more full-time equivalent employees, you have specific requirements to abide by. Please see our page for those employers: FTE 50 *



If you now want to or need to offer health insurance to your employees because of this new law and need help navigating how to do so- we have some suggestions! Please see our: Suggestions and Warnings Page *



HealthcareforArtists.org has also launched a 125 Cafeteria Plan Watch: If you are a business owner and have been contacted by someone who tried to charge you a large amount of money to set up a 125 Cafeteria plan ($500 or more as the cost can be as little as FREE to set it up), please contact us by email. We are keeping track to make sure no one is being unfairly taken advantage by predatory sales people. The AF is in contact with the Attorney General's Office on this matter. All correspondence is kept confidential. Please email us: feedback@healthcareforartists.org