Issues

Senate Passes Landmark Bill to Cut Prescription Drug Prices

Senate Passes Landmark Bill to Cut Prescription Drug Prices

The U.S. Senate passed a historic budget bill on Aug. 7 that would help millions of Medicare enrollees better afford their life-sustaining medications and help millions more Americans pay their Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance premiums. The measure must now be approved by the House of Representatives before going to the president's desk.

5% COLA approved by legislature

5% COLA approved by legislature

Awaits Approval By Governor Baker

By: Shawn Duhamel, Chief Executive Officer
Mass Retirees Association
Our efforts to pass a 5% COLA for FY23 took a major step forward this week when the legislature unanimously approved the measure as part of the annual the State Budget.

Legislature Approves 5% COLA With Local Option

Legislature Approves 5% COLA With Local Option

Budget Measure Now Before Governor Baker

JULY 18, 2022: Late Sunday evening, House and Senate budget negotiators unveiled a compromise $54 billion FY23 State Budget. The measure contains a 5% COLA for retired State Employees and Teachers, as well as a local option provision authorizing the 102 local retirement boards to pay an FY23 COLA from 3-5%. The 3-5% increase for local retirement systems for FY’23 is an option, not a mandate. It allows them to give up to a 5% COLA this year if they so choose. 

Governor Signs Post Retirement Work “Waiver” Law

Governor Signs Post Retirement Work “Waiver” Law

No Hour & Income Restrictions for Non-Disability Retirees In Public Service During 2022

June 10, 2022: Governor Charlie Baker has signed into law H4456 that waives both the hour and income restrictions (imposed by Section 91 of Chapter 32) on retirees who are in public service employment during 2022. It became Chapter 80 of the Acts of 2022.

House Approves Largest COLA Increase Since 1992

House Approves Largest COLA Increase Since 1992

Local Retirement Systems Empowered to Increase COLA Up To 5% 

APRIL 27, 2022: Today, the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously approved a 5% increase in the FY23 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for State and Teacher Retirees. The measure also contains authorization for the state’s 102 local retirement systems to increase local COLAs from 3-5% by a majority vote of the retirement board.

COLA improvements pending before House

COLA improvements pending before House

APRIL 22, 2022: After nearly a year of preparation by our Association, debate is about to begin in the House of Representatives on proposals that would make improvements to the annual COLA benefit paid to public retirees. Mass Retirees has sponsored two amendments to the House FY23 budget - #1136 filed by Representative Ken Gordon and #1411 filed by Representative Mark Cusack.

Before I get into the specifics of the two amendments, let me first remind you of two upcoming Mass Retirees meetings.

House FY23 Budget Contains 3% State and Teacher COLA

House FY23 Budget Contains 3% State and Teacher COLA

Amendments Filed to Improve COLA Benefits 

APRIL 19, 2022: On Wednesday the House released their version of the Fiscal Year 2023 state budget. This marks the next stage of the budget process, which began in January when Governor Baker filed his proposal. The $49.6 billion dollar budget included two items of significance to retirees. First, as in the Governor’s proposal, the House fully funded the Group Insurance Commission, making sure health insurance will once again remain stable. 

Very exciting news to share

Very exciting news to share

Weekly Update 4/8/2022: It is always a great day when we can share good news with our members. Since I have two pieces of very positive news to share, I suppose it makes today exceptionally good!

GIC launches health plan procurement process

GIC launches health plan procurement process

Weekly Update 4/1/2022: Every five years the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) is required to rebid all health insurance, pharmacy, dental, and life insurance contracts. FY23, which begins July 1, 2022, marks the final year of the current 5-year contract cycle for all GIC health insurance and pharmaceutical drug plans.

Today we anticipate the release of the first component of the GIC’s FY24 procurement – the Request for Response (RFR) for the health insurance plans. The pharmacy plan RFR will be released in early June.