Health Insurance

Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

Insurers, flexibility, and savings

By Steven Syre
Globe Columnist  
March 30, 2012

The most interesting social experiments start with one basic question: What does it take to make people change the way they do something important?

Health insurance companies doing business in Massachusetts are wrestling with that question right now. They are rolling out all kinds of new medical insurance products, trying to figure out what kinds of limits and restrictions people are willing to accept in order to save money on their premiums.

GIC ANNUAL ENROLLMENT APRIL 9 – MAY 7

15 Statewide Health Fairs Scheduled

MARCH 19, 2012: The Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission will hold its annual Open Enrollment period from April 9 through May 7, 2012. During this period, all retirees and employees insured under one of the GIC plans may switch their insurance coverage.

During this time period, the GIC will hold a series of Health Fairs across the state - fifteen in all.

Municipal Health Care Savings Continue to Climb

MARCH 19, 2012: Massachusetts cities and towns have reached nearly $80 million in first-year savings from municipal health care reform and are on pace to exceed by far the initial estimate of $100 million, according to the most recent data compiled by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

ASSOCIATION PEC DESIGNEES ATTEND MUNICIPAL HEALTH FORUM

ASSOCIATION PEC DESIGNEES ATTEND MUNICIPAL HEALTH FORUM

Focus On New Municipal Insurance Law

FEBRUARY 14, 2012: Association members were among the over 200 attendees at a recent forum on the new Municipal Health Insurance (MHI) law, that was held at Boston Fire Local 718’s Florian Hall in Dorchester. They gathered together as the retiree designees on the Public Employee Committee (PEC) for their community or school district.

SAVINGS MEANT TO HELP RETIREES

Local Insurance Mitigation Funds Essential

NOVEMBER 2011 VOICE: A major point of negotiation during the Municipal Health Insurance Reform debate was the issue of mitigation funds being set aside to help offset the increased costs to be borne by retirees, survivors and employees under the new Municipal Health Insurance Law (Chapter 69, Acts of 2011).

ARLINGTON FIRST TO JOIN GIC UNDER NEW LAW

Includes Part B Refund

Arlington has become the first municipality to join the state Group Insurance Commission (GIC) under the new municipal health insurance law (Section 23). Town officials have contacted the GIC before October 1, so that the transfer will be done on January 1, 2012.

Medicare Part B Premiums for 2012 Lower Than Projected

Medscape Medical News

October 28, 2011 — More prudent use of medical services and tougher competition among healthcare providers has slowed the growth of Medicare spending, allowing for Part B premiums to be lower than projected, federal health officials said yesterday.

2012 MEDICARE PART B RATES ANNOUNCED

Monthly Premium of $99.90 Begins in January

OCTOBER 28, 2011: The federal government has announced that the standard Medicare Part B premium for 2012 will be $99.90 per month. Under the Medicare program, eligible retirees are responsible for 25% of the total cost of Part B, with the federal government subsidizing the remaining 75%.

Arlington, Medford, Somerville, Wakefield Move To Gic

Retirees Must Chose Plan By October 26

OCTOBER 21, 2011: Open enrollment is now underway for retirees, survivors and active employees from the towns of Arlington, Medford, Somerville and Wakefield, communities that will join the state’s Group Insurance Commission on January 1, 2012.

Members from these communities only have until Wednesday, October 26, 2011 to chose which GIC insurance plan to enroll. Those, who miss the enrollment deadline, will no longer have health insurance coverage after the January 1 transfer date.

Local Insurance Reform Now Law

Local Insurance Reform Now Law

SEPTEMBER 2011 VOICE: The seven-year odyssey, that has been a string of municipal health insurance reform initiatives, has closed its latest chapter with the passage of a new law that could dramatically reshape how local insurance plans are negotiated and established.