Health Insurance

Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

Good News Flows From GIC

Good News Flows From GIC

FY2015 Insurance Rates Hold Steady at 1% Increase

MARCH 6, 2014: State and municipal retirees, receiving their health insurance through the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC), received welcome good news on Wednesday – health insurance premiums for FY15 will remain largely unchanged.

GIC Announces 2014 Health Fair Schedule

FEBRUARY 19, 2014: Annual open enrollment for the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) is set to run from April 9 – May 7, 2014. If you receive your insurance through the GIC this is your opportunity to make changes to your insurance coverage for the coming fiscal year.

Middleborough Retirees Get Their Day In Court

Middleborough Retirees Get Their Day In Court

Argue Before State’s Highest Court

February 5, 2014: For more than 6 years, we’ve been reporting on the activities of the Middleborough Retiree Insurance Group (MRIG) which organized back in ’07. “Our Association has a tradition of working with local retiree groups, particularly on the issues of municipal health insurance and local pension COLAs (Cost-of-Living Adjustments),” according to President Valeri. “That relationship includes Middleboro.

Growing Concern: Premium Freeze Expiring

JANUARY 2014 VOICE: An issue of great concern to the Association is the end of the legal moratorium on increasing retiree and survivor health insurance contribution rates.

Within the Municipal Insurance Reform law (Chapter 69, Acts of 2011), our Association was able to secure language that has prohibited many cities and towns from increasing contribution rates on retirees and survivors over the past three years. The moratorium applies to any community that fully implements the provisions of Chapter 69.

Huge Turnout For Healthcare Hearing

JANUARY 2014 VOICE: Active employees turned out in droves for a public hearing on retiree healthcare reform held at the State House on Halloween.

The marathon hearing, before the Joint Committee on Public Service, lasted more than 6 hours. More than five hundred people filled the meeting room, bearing witness to a host of government, retiree and labor officials who testified on the proposal known as H59.

Following Packed Hearing H59 Under Review

Following Packed Hearing H59 Under Review

2013 Legislative Session Winds Down

NOVEMBER 12, 2013: Hundreds of public employees from across all walks of state and local government made their concerns known at a packed public hearing on retiree healthcare reform on October 31st.

The hearing, on H59, was held before the Joint Committee on Public Service. Chaired by Senator William Brownsberger (D-Belmont) and Rep. Aaron Michlewitz (D-North End), the Public Service Committee is now conducting a thorough review of the bill.

RETIREE HEALTHCARE REFORM REENTERS SPOTLIGHT

Public Hearing on H59 Thursday

OCTOBER 28, 2013: Arguably the biggest issue to come before the legislature during the current two-year session reenters center stage on Beacon Hill this week, when H59, the much watched Retiree Healthcare Reform proposal, receives a public hearing.

HEALTH EXCHANGE KICKOFF: No Impact On Current Insurance Plans

OCTOBER 1, 2013: Today marks the nationwide kickoff of the new health insurance exchanges, the main component of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called Obamacare. Between now and December 15, individuals can sign up for one of the health insurance plans being offered through their state’s exchange, with insurance coverage

GIC OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS DROP 3.8%

SEPTEMBER 2013 VOICE: In its second annual report on out-of-pocket costs (OPC), the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) has found that the non-premium costs borne by retirees and employees actually dropped 3.8% between FY11-12.

The $77 million savings lowered the average OPC to $1,030 per enrollee. OPC includes copayments and deductibles paid when accessing health insurance benefits. It does not include insurance premiums and the cost of over the counter drugs that are not covered by insurance.

ASSOCIATION BILLS ADVANCE

H59 Retiree Insurance Reform Eyed For Fall

SEPTEMBER 2013 VOICE: The Joint Committee on Public Service has favorably released a key bill of particular importance to public retirees.

Under the direction of Co-Chairmen, Senator Will Brownsberger and Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, the Committee unanimously advanced legislation aimed at correcting Option B & C pensions for pre-July 2004 retirees (H2354). Also, among the bills heard by Public Service, is our legislation which increases basic state life insurance benefits from $5,000 to $10,000 (H2288).