GIC Launches Planning Process for FY21

GIC Launches Planning Process for FY21

Listening Tours Will Proceed Decision Making 

DECEMBER 19, 2019: Today, the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) formally kicked-off the planning and decision making process for Fiscal Year 2021, which begins July 1, 2020.

The 17-member Commission will formally discuss plan design changes for the coming year at the GIC’s meeting on January 16th. However, no final decisions will be made nor votes taken until February 6th – after the GIC holds a series of six Public Listening Sessions stretching from Barnstable to Springfield starting on January 22nd in Worcester.

Click here for the locations and times for each of the six Listening Sessions.

Acting Executive Director Joan Matsumoto made it clear that no decisions would be made until after the GIC receives input from retirees, active employees and all stakeholder groups. This sentiment was then reinforced by Commissioners Bobbi Kaplan and Tamara Davis, both of whom strongly voiced their concern that enrollees have the opportunity to weigh in before decisions are made.

While plan design recommendations for FY21 are not yet known, the GIC has indicated the range of medical inflation that is anticipated for the coming year. Heading into 2020, the GIC expects overall costs to increase between 4-7%. Private markets in Massachusetts are expected to experience 5-7% increases in the coming year.

Life Insurance & Non-Medicare Eligible Retirees

Mass Retirees officials were present at today’s meeting and pleased to hear discussion on two key issues of particular interest to Association members: Increasing the Basic Life Insurance benefit to $10,000 for state retirees and addressing the unique affordability concerns of post age 65 retirees, who are not eligible for Medicare. Both issues are ongoing active projects for GIC staff and various expert consultants.

Both issues had become important policy concerns of former GIC Director Roberta Herman, who resigned this month to become President and CEO of Joslin Clinic. A medical doctor, Herman had previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare.

“The fact that the GIC will continue to prioritize increasing the basic life insurance and address the affordability concerns of non-Medicare eligible retirees demonstrates just how important these issues are. Both are areas that are of top concern to public retirees,” said Mass Retirees CEO Shawn Duhamel. “Our staff will be sitting down with GIC officials in early January as they begin to flush out the details on how these policies might change, as well as a probable timeline.

“Meanwhile, we are encouraged by what we heard from both the GIC Commissioners and staff at today’s meeting. The openness and preparation going into the 2021 benefit process is a direct result of the advocacy of the retiree and labor representatives serving on the Commission. Jane Edmonds (Retiree), Bobbi Kaplan (NAGE), Joe Gentile (AFL-CIO) and Tim Sullivan (MTA) have spent the past few years calling for a more open and transparent process. It seems their voices have been heard!”

Mass Retirees members can look to future news updates, as well as our March 2020 edition of The Voice for detailed information on all news related to the GIC.

GIC Launches Planning Process for FY21
GIC Launches Planning Process for FY21
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