Employer and Individual Mandates in Health Reform

The Center for Health Law and Economics at UMass Medical School has extensive experience with universal health care coverage mandates. Policy initiatives to achieve universal coverage often include requirements that individuals obtain their own coverage or that employers provide coverage or funding for employees to obtain coverage themselves.

Massachusetts law includes mandates for both individual and employer participation and financial penalties for non-participation. Our staff members, several of whom have served in essential leadership roles in state government and helped craft Massachusetts’ health reform law, have extensive, first-hand knowledge of how the system was designed.

Employer and individual mandates can help reduce the market distortions (such as cost shifting, adverse selection, and “free riding”) that can result from a voluntary system. Mandates can also be a means to broader coverage.