Legislative Update – January 2020

It may be the middle of winter, but things are heating up in the Massachusetts Legislature! MassAHU’s Winter 2020 Legislative Update will help you stay connected with your Legislative Team at MassAHU. If you have questions, comments, or are interested in getting more involved with our legislative agenda at MassAHU, please email us at info@massahu.org.

Brews & Beacon Hill on February 13th
Legislative advocacy can involve some heavy lifting, swift responses, collaboration and negotiation. But it’s not all work and no play! Our upcoming event “Brews & Beacon Hill” is proof of that.
We hope you replied to our recent invitation to join us on Thursday, February 13th at Trillium Brewing in Canton. Please come! Invite a colleague or two for a fun and informative happy hour with our lobbyist, Jack Bartley. Beer and munchies are on us. If you misplaced your invitation, here is a link to Register Today!

MA Legislature Holds Hearing on Governor Baker’s Omnibus Health Care Bill (H-4134)
The MA Joint Committee on Health Care Financing held a public hearing on H-4134 on January 28th. Governor Baker and HHS Secretary Sudders testified on the main provisions of the bill released last fall by the Baker Administration. Several healthcare organizations testified at the hearing, as well as the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans (MAHP).
While most of the testimony was in favor of the bill’s intent, the ‘devil’ will be in the details of any reform as it impacts healthcare costs. MassAHU’s legislative team is in discussion with other stakeholders as we draft our own position on these key issues. We are also reaching out to influential members in the legislature to engage in discussion of the issues and our concerns for the market and our clients.
Jack Bartley will go into more specifics at our February 13th event regarding the anticipated outcome of H-4134 and other legislation being considered by the House and the Senate.

MassAHU Participates in Merged Market Advisory Council
Governor Baker’s healthcare bill was accompanied by Executive Order 589 for the creation of a Merged Market Advisory Council. The council will make recommendations for ensuring the sustainability and affordability of the small group market in Massachusetts.
MassAHU was instrumental in securing representation on the council. Of the five brokers whose names we submitted for consideration, Mark Gaunya of Borislow Insurance Agency in Methuen, MA and Rose Lopes of the Sylvia Group in Dartmouth, MA were selected as the two brokers to join the 13-member council.
Public information sessions will be held in several locations around the state, and we encourage you and your small employer clients to attend these forums. For a full listing of the council members and a schedule of meetings and public information sessions, visit the state’s website.

Election Year Campaigns Abound!
Since this is an election year, we anticipate being invited to several fundraisers this winter/spring. Our lobbyist, Jack Bartley, is also securing appointments with some key legislators in the state. If you would like to attend any of these events, or if you know of a local event which you would like to tell us about so that we can support your legislator, please let us know.
We are asking all our members to help in our outreach efforts by sharing your home address so that we can enlist your help in contacting your legislators on specific issues as the need arises. Please send an email with your address so that we can add this important information to your NAHU profile.

MA PFMLA Reporting Deadline is January 31st
The employer reporting deadline for the first quarterly reporting under MA PFMLA is this week. Our compliance expert Rick Sczcebak offers up the MA DOR’s tips (along with his own commentary) to share with your clients in this Members-Only Compliance Update. Click here to read his update.

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