Health Insurance

Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

Legislature Dismisses Romney Plan

JULY 2003
- Retiree Insurance Contributions Upheld - Retirees, insured under the state's Group Insurance Commission,
narrowly avoided a dramatic increase in their monthly health insurance
contributions. Legislative leaders have grandfathered retirees under
their existing contribution rates of 90/10 or 85/15, depending upon the
date of retirement.

Insurance Officials Fail Retirees

JULY 2003
- Offer No Defense of Medicare Refund Despite Budget Surplus - As Association lobbyists battled on Beacon Hill to fully restore and
guarantee the reimbursement of the state's share of the Medicare Part B
payment, officials with the state's Group Insurance Commission (GIC)
offered no support.

Modest Insurance Rates Increase, But Romney Plan Lurks In Background

MAY 2003
- As the Association and our members fight back Governor Romney’s
proposed increase in insurance contribution rates, state insurance
officials have announced an overall modest increase in insurance costs
for the next fiscal year (’04).

Everett Retirees Win Insurance Freeze

MARCH 2003
- Legislation Sponsored By Mayor - City of Everett retirees are the happy beneficiaries of a law that
will lock them into their current health insurance premium contribution
percentage.

Association Representative Takes Seat On Methuen's Insurance Coalition

MARCH 2003
- "We're pleased to announce that Connie Childs has agreed to take our
Association's seat on Methuen's newly established coalition bargaining
committee for health insurance, "reports Insurance Coordinator Cheryl
Stillman. "Connie was our clear choice, bringing a wealth of knowledge
and experience to the coalition." (See January Voice for more details on the coalition.)

AG Reilly Slams Pharmacies

MARCH 2003
- Drug Tax Remains In Dispute - Amidst the controversy surrounding the new "tax" placed on
prescription drugs, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly has
ordered pharmacies within the state to stop misleading consumers over
the issue.

Romney Assaults Retiree Insurance

MARCH 2003
- Proposed Contribution Rates Soar To 25% - Retirees, already in shock after the elimination of the Medicare
refund, may now witness their monthly insurance contributions double.
These same retirees have been also forced to absorb significant
increases in copayments and deductibles.

GIC Members Can Choose Not To Use S.S. Number

JANUARY 2003
- When the FY'03 budget became law, there was a provision which
received little fanfare, but may be of great interest to our members
insured by the state's Group Insurance Commission (GIC). As part of the
GIC's budget, the agency is required to issue an enrollee, if they
request, a separate identification number instead of their Social
Security number.

Check On Local Insurance Advisory Committee

JANUARY 2003
- Back when coalition bargaining became law in '93, another important
change in the municipal health insurance law (Chapter 32B), which our
Association also sponsored, was enacted. Communities, which have
adopted Chapter 32B, must establish an insurance advisory committee
(IAC) to review health and life insurance plans and make
recommendations.

Coalition Bargaining: Offers Innovative Approach To Local Health Insurance

JANUARY 2003
- Methuen Adopts Local Option Law - As communities tackle the challenge of escalating costs in order to
maintain quality health insurance for its retirees and employees, they
may take a long, hard look at an Association sponsored law that has
been on the books for almost 10 years. And some municipalities, like
Methuen, may in fact adopt that law which is commonly referred to as
coalition bargaining.In
1993, we heralded the passage of coalition bargaining - a local option
law which offered an innovative approach toward establishing a
municipality's group health insurance plans. "Coalition bargaining
provides a collaborative process in which municipal retirees, employees
and officials would be working together to develop mutually agreed-upon
health insurance plans," according to Legislative Chairman Bill Hill.