GIC Announces FY20 Rates

GIC Announces FY20 Rates
GIC Medicare Rates for FY20

1.9% Increase for Popular OME Plan

MARCH 1, 2019: On Thursday the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) delivered good news to the more than 82,000 retirees and surviving spouses insured under its Option Medicare Extension (OME) plan. For Fiscal Year 2020, UniCare OME premiums will increase a meager 1.9% over the current year.

For the nearly 18,000 non-Medicare retirees enrolled in the UniCare Basic with CIC rates will increase 2.6% for individual coverage and 2.7% for family. The GIC does not offer couple or plus-1 rates. Studies have shown that because of the nature of group pricing, such a move would actually increase premiums on retirees.

Premium increases across the GIC’s six Medicare plan options range from 0.1% for Tufts Medicare Preferred plan to a high of 2.7% for Tufts Medicare Complement. All Medicare rates are well below state and national averages, which typically range between 5-8% in 2019.

Across the 12 non-Medicare plan options premium increases range from a low of 0.0% for UniCare Plus to a high of 12.1% for AllWays Health Partners Complete HMO. The GIC’s popular Tufts Navigator plan, which has more than 32,000 enrollees, saw a 0.6% increase for both family and individual coverage. Navigator is used as a benchmark for municipal plans in terms of establishing local cost saving measures.

“All told, the rates came in about at where we expected them to be,” comments Mass Retirees’ Patricia Igo, who was present at Thursday’s GIC meeting. “Combined with the fact that the GIC chose not to increase copayments or deductibles for FY20, this is very good news for our members. However, we still believe that many retirees are paying too high a price to access healthcare. This is especially the case for our non-Medicare retirees, who are already paying high copayments and deductibles. We will continue to press for a solution to lowering costs.”

While FY20 begins July 1, retirees should take note that health insurance premiums are billed a month in advance. This means that the new GIC rates will be paid in the June 2019 pension withholdings. Also, GIC open enrollment takes place in April. 

Mass Retirees members should look to the May edition of The Voice for a full list of all GIC monthly premiums.