Health Insurance

Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

Lynnfield Retired Teachers Oppose Insurance Change

NOVEMBER 2003 - Association Joins In Local Effort - Lynnfield
retired teachers have rallied together to oppose a controversial
proposal before their board of selectmen, to drop the insurance plan
that they now have with the state's Group Insurance Commission (GIC).
In place of the current plan, the proposal would switch these retirees
to the town's insurance plan (Blue Cross/Blue Shield - Medex 3)
purchased through the MIIA (Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance
Association).

GIC's Reimbursement Letter Misleads Many

NOVEMBER 2003
- Full Medicare Premium Paid By Members - Members, who are insured under the state's Group Insurance Commission
and also enrolled in Medicare, received a check from the state
indicating it was a partial reimbursement for Medicare Part B. Having
read the GIC's notice accompanying the check, these members were left
with the general impression that they were receiving a reimbursement on
the money withheld from their Social Security check to pay Part B.

GIC'S Insurance Propaganda Continues

SEPTEMBER 2003
- Part B Ripoff Is Shameful - While members insured under the Group Insurance Commission's Optional
Medicare Extension plan become increasingly enraged about the GIC's
sellout, the GIC's propaganda machine continues its insidious campaign,
intent on convincing retirees that previous payments on behalf of
Medicare Part B were bestowed gratuitously and should not be expected
during difficult fiscal times.

Insurance Win For Webster Retirees

SEPTEMBER 2003
- Lawmakers Send Romney First Veto Override - There's more than one way to skin a cat. Frustrated by the Town of
Webster's voters refusing to allow the town to contribute 50% toward
the cost of their health insurance, the town's retirees tried a
different route - and won.

Congress Moves To Establish Medicare Drug Benefit

SEPTEMBER 2003
- Controversial Managed-Care Option To Be Offered - With a large majority of members insured under Medicare, our
Association has been maintaining a watchful eye on potential changes in
this program, particularly the legislation that would establish a new
drug benefit plan. According to Legislative Chairman Bill
Hill,"Congress was still resolving the differences between the Senate
and House versions of the law when we went to press.

GIC Hits Retirees Again

SEPTEMBER 2003
- Prescription Changes Outrage Retirees - Adding insult to injury and further outraging retirees, the state's
Group Insurance Commission has made significant changes to the state's
prescription drug plan. These changes will cost many retirees hundreds,
if not thousands, of dollars a year in new out-of-pocket expenses.

Federal Rules On Health Insurance Protect Privacy Of Medical Information

JULY 2003
- One of the major services that the Association offers to its members
is assistance with problems relating to their insurance claims. "We
can't guarantee success but members know that we'll do whatever we can
to resolve their claims," states Insurance Coordinator Cheryl Stillman.

Insurance Pool Serves West/Central Mass.

JULY 2003
- Sixty-One Towns/Districts In Hampshire Insurance Group - Health insurance pools, in which municipalities and other political
subdivisions join together to purchase and administer health insurance
plans for retirees and employees, are not a new phenomenon. In fact,
there are several longstanding pools in the state, for example, the
Plymouth County Health Insurance and the Berkshire County Insurance
Group (See July 1998 & July 2000 Voice respectively).

Health Fairs Well-Attended As Premium Increase Pressure Mounts

JULY 2003
- April and May were Group Insurance Commission Health Fair months.
During that time, the GIC held 14 health fairs at various locations
throughout the Commonwealth, attracting large crowds.

GIC Health Insurance Has Wide Participation

JULY 2003
- Umbrella Covers Many Local Retirees - Although many think of the Commonwealth's Group Insurance Commission
(GIC) as an agency that insures only state retirees, the GIC is also
the insurer for large numbers of local government retirees.