MARCH 9, 2008: The state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) has approved the insurance rates for Fiscal Year 2009, which begins July 1, 2008. On average, the state-run public retiree and employee healthcare plans will increase 6.4%. Last year, rates increased 3.78% following an average increase of 7.47% in 2006. Each year the GIC has posted increases well below the state and national averages.

Those members insured in the Optional Medicare Extension (OME) plan will see a 5.7% increase, amounting to a total monthly premium of $45.40 (90/10) and $62.84 (85/15). Survivors will pay a monthly OME premium of $44.71, while retired municipal Teachers (RMT) rates vary dependent upon the level of life insurance carried. As of January 1, 2008 some 51,000 retirees (including Retired Municipal Teachers) were insured in the OME plan. State law requires that Medicare eligible retirees and survivors enroll in Medicare Part A and B.

For those retirees not eligible for Medicare and are enrolled in the Unicare Indemnity Plan, rates will increase 6.5%. Individual plans will cost $106.49 (90/10) and $142.48 (85/15) per month, while family coverage runs $247.23 and $330.84 respectively.  

Association members will receive a complete analysis of the new GIC rates, along with a comparison of rates being offered at the municipal level, in the May 2008 edition of the Voice.