Health Insurance

Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

Indemnity Plan Remains Top Choice

NOVEMBER 2002
- Enrollment statistics recently released by the state's Group
Insurance Commission (GIC) confirm what many members already know - the
Indemnity Plan is the plan of choice for many retirees, gaining the
most members and retaining its position as the largest GIC plan.

Feds Propose Unequal Insurance Treatment Of Medicare Retirees By Employers

NOVEMBER 2002
- Commonwealth's Public Retirees Not Affected - You may recall our report, sometime ago, concerning a lawsuit in
federal court by retirees from Erie County, Pennsylvania, who claimed
their Medicare supplement plan violated the ADEA, Age Discrimination in
Employment Act (see January 2001 Voice). Since then, there have been a number of major developments.

Curbs Sought On Drug Industry Influence

SEPTEMBER 2002
-
Out-Of-Control Price Increases Draw Criticism - In direct response to complaints from retirees and the general public
alike relative to the ever-increasing cost of prescription drugs, the
state Senate is considering legislation that will curb the influence of
the pharmaceutical industry in Massachusetts.

Stow Votes To Pay One-Half Survivors' Health Insurance

SEPTEMBER 2002
- Since the 1980s, there have been several attempts by Town of Stow
retirees and employees to have the town pay 50% of the insurance
premium for survivors, instead of nothing. Just last year, a petition
calling for this, spearheaded by Association member and former
Treasurer-Collector Eila Makey, was presented to the Stow selectmen but
failed to make the town warrant because of time restraints.

Curbs Sought On Drug Industry Influence

SEPTEMBER 2002
- Out-Of-Control Price Increases Draw Criticism - In direct response to complaints from retirees and the general public
alike relative to the ever-increasing cost of prescription drugs, the
state Senate is considering legislation that will curb the influence of
the pharmaceutical industry in Massachusetts.

Ballot Question Fails Webster Retirees... Again

JULY 2002
- For the fourth straight year, the Central Massachusetts town of
Webster has voted against subsidizing the health insurance premiums of
the town's retirees at a 50 percent level. Currently, the retirees pay
the full cost and will continue to do so.

South Shore Communities Adopt Medicare Option

JULY 2002
- Brockton and Plymouth Use Different Approaches - With the cost of health insurance continuing to skyrocket at an
alarming rate, cities and towns across the Commonwealth are looking for
options to help control costs. Instead of cutting benefits and
increasing costs on retirees, some communities are shifting the
financial burden to the federal government under Medicare.

Worcester To Retain Blue Cross

JULY 2002
- Retirees Decry HMO Option - An attempt by the city of Worcester to drop Blue Cross / Blue Shield
of Massachusetts has been defeated. This news marks a significant
victory for retirees and active employees in Worcester.

No Insurance Increase

JULY 2002
- Retirees Stave Off State Premium Hike - Through sheer grit and determination, this May our Association was
able to fend off an attempt in the House of Representatives to raise
the insurance contribution percentage for members insured under the
state's Group Insurance Commission. Had the Association and its allies
been unsuccessful, the retirees would have seen a 33% increase in their
health insurance costs.

New State Dental Plan Takes Shape

MAY 2002
- Retirees Urged To Take Close Look - News that the state has created a retiree dental plan has been met
with mostly positive reaction among eligible Association members. The
new plan, which begins July 1, 2002, is the first time such coverage
will be offered to retirees enrolled under the state Group Insurance
Commission (GIC). This includes those retired teachers and local
government retirees who hold GIC coverage.