Massachusetts Employer Survey

2021 Massachusetts Employer Survey

The majority of Massachusetts residents obtain health insurance through their own or a family member’s employer. Employer-sponsored insurance shapes the health insurance markets in the state and impacts the demand for the state’s public insurance programs, including MassHealth.

The Massachusetts Employer Survey (MES), an ongoing health insurance survey of employers, tracks and monitors employer health insurance offerings, employee take-up rates, cost-sharing, plan characteristics, and employer decision making. It was conducted on a biennial basis from 2001 through 2009; then in 2010, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2021. Data collection for the biennial MES began in 2020; however, due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to Massachusetts businesses, data collection was paused in March 2020. This most recent survey was fielded from May – January 2022.

Additionally due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 MES included new questions to quantify the impacts of the pandemic on employers and employees across the Commonwealth. These summary results provide key insights on how the pandemic affected workplace health benefits during a period of challenge and recovery for many businesses.


Key Findings for the 2021 The Massachusetts Employer Survey
- Published June 2022


  • Most Massachusetts firms (74%) offered health insurance to their employees in 2021, and at a higher rate than firms nationally (59%).


  • Nearly half of employees (46%) were enrolled in a high deductible health plan (HDHP), and over one-third (35%) were enrolled in a HDHP with a savings option.


  • Average total monthly premium for single coverage was $715 in Massachusetts, higher than the national average of $645.


  • Since January 2020, firms have expanded access to telehealth, waived or reduced cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment, and expanded access to behavioral health services (49%, 18% and 7%).


 2021 Health Insurance Offer Rates by Firm Size

Prior Employer Health Insurance Research


2018 Massachusetts Employer Health Insurance Survey (MES)




2016 Massachusetts Employer Health Insurance Survey (MES)


2014 Massachusetts Employer Health Insurance Survey (MES)


2011 Massachusetts Employer Health Insurance Survey (MES)


2010 Massachusetts Employer Health Insurance Survey (MES)