Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees
Kicks Off Annual Insurance Open Enrollment
APRIL 6, 2016: Today begins the month-long open enrollment period for the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC). Retirees and employees insured by the GIC now have until May 4, 2016 to make changes to their health insurance coverage or join the retiree dental insurance plan.
OME Prices Drop -7.2%
MARCH 4, 2016: Retirees who are enrolled in the state Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) Option Medicare Extension (OME) plan received very good news this week – health insurance rates for FY17 will decrease by 7.2%.
Last year, OME enrollees experienced an increase of 6.5%. Two years ago, the same rates decreased 0.4%.
In addition, the GIC has voted to maintain the same copayments and deductibles that have been in effect for the past year, without any increase.
Mass. Officials Play Central Role
JANUARY 2016 VOICE: A major budget deal between the White House and Congress has come to the aid of public retirees, who had been bracing for a major increase in Medicare Part B premiums for 2016.
13 Locations Across The State Thru April
February 12, 2016: Today the Group Insurance Commission announced the schedule for the 2016 Health Fairs. This is an annual practice that the GIC conducts during its open enrollment which this year runs from April 6th to May 4th.
With an eye on rising costs, the health care industry today is looking for new ways to contain spending while improving patient care.
It’s a monumental goal, one that insurers and care providers, prodded by landmark health care laws, are trying to tackle. Dolores L. Mitchell has been doing it for nearly three decades.
Mitchell Led Agency For Nearly 29 Years
DECEMBER 21, 2015: At the close of the state Group Insurance Commission’s December meeting, Executive Director Dolores Mitchell stunned the crowded meeting by announcing her retirement. After leading the GIC for nearly 29 years, Mitchell will retire in 2016.
The fifteen-member Commission that governs the GIC will now begin the process of hiring a new executive director.
Only Impacts Certain Medicare Enrollees
NOVEMBER 21, 2015: Members who are insured under the state Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) Option Medicare Extension (OME) plan will have a new prescription drug provider as of January 1, 2016.
As the GIC and our Association have been reporting for nearly a year, prescription coverage under the OME plan is being transferred SilverScript. Under federal law, retirees must be given the opportunity to “Opt Out” of the new drug plan.
What Does Medicare Cover For Nursing and Therapy Services at Home?
“On this, I’ve heard from members complaining because Medicare refused to cover the cost of skilled nursing and therapy care that they were receiving at home,” reports Stillman. “That’s because Medicare had what they called the ‘Improvement Standard.’
Am I Required to Enroll in Medicare?
“By far, this is one of the more frequent questions that I’m asked,” says Association Insurance Coordninator Cheryl Stillman. “Here’s what you should know.”
A Sampling of Local Experience
November 2015 Voice: With municipal health insurance reform in 2011, there was a spike in the number of Public Employee Committees (PECs) across the Commonwealth. Currently, some 185 Association members are serving as retiree designees on PECs that negotiate with local officials over health insurance plans.