Both the Massachusetts law and the federal overhaul include coverage mandates for employers. Massachusetts's version applied to smaller companies than the federal mandate and also carried significantly lighter penalties.
A business that doesn't provide coverage in Massachusetts has to pay a fine of roughly $300 per employee, according to the report, while the federal government will fine employers as much as $3,000 for each employee who receives a subsidy from the government.
But despite those more lenient penalties, employer-based insurance grew in the state, partly because of a separate mandate requiring individuals to carry insurance or pay a penalty, according to the report.
“We had people who were now demanding insurance," Robert Carey, formerly a top official in the Massachusetts insurance exchange, told the consulting firm.
The increased demand also occurred during a period when prices were skyrocketing in the state. The cost of an individual insurance policy soared more than 60 percent between 2003 and 2011, yet people still clamored for employer-based coverage, PricewaterhouseCoopers said.