Health Insurance

Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

GIC Retiree Dental Plan Reduces Premiums

MAY 2004
- Insurance Benefits Also Increased - As it enters the third year of operation (on July 1), the
Commonwealth's retiree dental plan not only reduced its premiums but
also increased benefits. The plan, which is under the state Group
Insurance Commission (GIC) and administered by Altus Dental, is
currently being offered to state, teacher and local retirees who are
enrolled in the GIC.

State Insurance Rates Increase

MAY 2004
- No Change In Co-Pays - Those members, insured through the various health insurance plans run
by the state, are once again facing an increase in their insurance
premium for the coming fiscal year. The increases will effect the
11,000 retired teachers and 53,000 retired state and local government
employees who are insured through the state's Group Insurance

State Opens Insurance Enrollment Period

MARCH 2004
- From April 13 to May 7, the GIC will hold its annual health fairs.
Retired and active employees are encouraged to attend one of the
fourteen fairs where members can speak with insurance officials about
switching their coverage if they choose. Changes made in each plan's
coverage, along with the retiree's choice of plan, are set to take
effect July 1, 2004.

Medicare Part D: New Drug Benefit Update

MARCH 2004
- Feds To Reimburse State and Locals In '06 - With the introduction of prescription drug discount cards this
spring, members will undoubtedly hear more about Medicare's new
prescription drug program (Medicare Part D). With that flood of
information, you must remember that it may not be directed specifically
to public retirees and their families.

State Indemnity Plan Merges

MARCH 2004
- WellPoint-Anthem Would Insure 26 Million - The company which administers the Commonwealth Indemnity Plan,
UniCare, has announced that its parent company is set to merge with
Anthem Inc.

Lynnfield Selectmen Switch Retired Teachers' Insurance

JANUARY 2004 - For the first time in 30 years, a town has revoked and terminated its membership in the state health insurance program.

Medical Out-Of-State Bill Dilemma Continues

- A dilemma continues to exist among some of our non-Medicare members
who are insured by the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) and now live

Medicare Drug Benefit

JANUARY 2004 - Members Need Not Worry - When we first reported on the push to establish a Medicare drug benefit (September Voice),
we emphasized to our members not to worry since if such a benefit was
established, it would not have a direct and immediate impact on them.
As we went to press, Congress appears close to enacting a Medicare drug
benefit, and our advice remains constant - don't worry.

Editiorial: Drug Prices Must Come Down!

- Much has been reported in the press over the past few months about
efforts, led by the City of Springfield, to lower the cost of
prescription drugs by encouraging retirees and employees to purchase
those drugs through Canadian pharmacies.

Feds Move To Block Drug Imports

- Springfield/Pittsfield Look To Canada - They had hoped to save their cities millions of dollars a year by
purchasing prescription drugs from Canada, but officials in Springfield
and Pittsfield may have to develop a new strategy to cut the rising
cost of prescription drugs.