Health Insurance

Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

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.

FOCUS NOW SHIFTS LOCALLY

SEPTEMBER 2011 VOICE: No sooner had Chapter 69 become law, than Arlington’s board of selectmen voted 4-0 to move forward and join the state Group Insurance Commission (GIC). Right behind them, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curatone also began the move to the GIC.

Other communities, from cities, such as Fall River and New Bedford, to the smallest Berkshire towns are now weighing how to proceed. Essentially, Chapter 32B (municipal health insurance) now provides multiple options as to how to negotiate and design local insurance benefits.

MUNICIPAL HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM IN SPOTLIGHT

JULY 2011 VOICE: With pension reform in the spotlight for three years and still underway, municipal health insurance reform has temporarily pushed pensions to the back-burner as the House and Senate have tackled head-on the long-simmering municipal health insurance quandary.

Wisconsin Parallels Seen In Local Health Care Fight

Wisconsin Parallels Seen In Local Health Care Fight

Retirees Must Have Voice In Process

The battle, now being waged in Wisconsin over the rights of public employees to collectively bargain, should come as no surprise to Association members. As we have been reporting for some time, there is a growing national movement to reduce and alter the health care and defined benefit pensions of public employees and retirees.

Tackling health costs requires coordinated effort

EDITORIAL  Gov. Deval Patrick has set the ambitious goal of reducing by $1 billion the projected health care expenditures in the next fiscal year. While there is reason to doubt whether he’ll be able to meet that target, he has followed up with concrete proposals.

GateHouse News Service Posted Feb 23, 2011 @ 10:00 AM

Local Insurance Changes Loom

Local Insurance Changes Loom

GIC Mandate Proposed

Filing his third barebones budget in as many years, Governor Deval Patrick has proposed a significant change to local health insurance plans in an attempt to plug growing budget deficits that are the result of the ongoing economic recession.

In addition to slashing the budget of the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) by $100 million for FY12, the Governor is also proposing a 7% cut in non-school local aid to cities and towns. In order to offset local aid cuts, Patrick has reintroduced a plan that could drastically alter municipal health plans.

Residents face $20b retiree health tab

Study finds most cities, towns don't put enough aside

Massachusetts residents face potentially devastating tax increases in the coming years to pay health insurance benefits for retired police, firefighters, and other municipal employees, according to a new study that finds the 50 largest cities and towns alone face a retiree health care bill of $20 billion over the next 30 years.

By Sean P. Murphy Globe Staff / February 16, 2011