Health Insurance

Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

Federal Appeals Court Ruling Stirs Debate

JANUARY 2001 -
Can Insurance Plans Treat Medicare Retirees Differently? - Within retirement circles, attention has focused on a recent decision
handed by a federal court of appeals, stirring debate over its
potential impact on state and municipal health insurance programs here
in the Commonwealth. According to the 3d Circuit Court of Appeals,
health insurance plans, that provide greater benefits to younger
(pre-65) retirees than those eligible for Medicare, violate the federal
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) unless they can show equal
costs for insuring both retiree groups.

Disruptive Health Care Measure Fails

JANUARY 2001 -
Despite the fiscal restraints that will be brought about as a result of
Question 4, real disaster was avoided with the defeat of Question 5.
The ballot question, which was marketed by supporters as a step to rein
in HMOs, would have been a setback to health care in Massachusetts.

Long Term Care: An Overview

NOVEMBER 2000 -
LTC Insurance May Be The Answer For Some - When the phrase "long term care" comes up, one usually thinks in terms
of nursing homes. But long term care, or LTC, encompasses much more,
including home health care, services to help an individual perform
daily activities or care in an assisted living facility.

Coalition Bargaining Still Working In Lexington

NOVEMBER 2000 -
Protects Insurance Benefits For Retirees/Survivors - Lexington is one of the communities that decided, some years ago, to
accept what was then a new group insurance law known as coalition
bargaining (Section 19, Chapter 32B). Back in 1993, when Section 19 was
enacted, our Association was one of the principal sponsors of the law.

Medicare Retirees To Transfer From HMO

NOVEMBER 2000 -
Harvard Pilgrim Coverage Ends January 1 - It has been a rocky road for the retirees insured in one of Harvard
Pilgrim Health Care's Medicare plans. First was the uncertain financial
future of the HMO, that left retirees wondering if the insurance giant
would survive.

Dental Plan Moves Forward

NOVEMBER 2000 -
Retiree Survey Is Key To Plan Design - For the past several months, Association officers have been working
closely with officials from the state’s Group Insurance Commission
(GIC) to develop a dental plan for retirees. As members now know, the
Association was successful in securing a new law, in this year’s
budget, that requires the GIC to design a retiree pay-all dental plan,
with a target implementation date of July 1, 2001.

Quincy Retirees Win Dental Coverage

SEPTEMBER 2000 -
Plan Was 4 Years In The Making - City of Quincy retirees have won a rare benefit for municipal retirees
- dental insurance. Mayor James Sheets has agreed to extend the choice
of Delta Dental or Delta Care HMO dental plans to retirees effective
this October 1.

Harvard Pilgrim Scales Back Medicare Coverage

SEPTEMBER 2000 -
Retirees who live in the counties of Barnstable, Bristol, Plymouth, and
Worcester are soon to be in need of a new health plan, if they are
currently insured in a Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Medicare HMO. Over
11,000 public and private Medicare recipients will be affected.

Local Trend To Health Insurance Pools Continues

SEPTEMBER 2000 - MIIA Pool Experiences Steady Growth -
During the first 8 months of this year, the state's largest municipal
health insurance pool, the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance
Association (MIIA) Health Benefits Trust, has experienced steady growth
with a 25% increase in the number of towns participating in the pool.
MIIA is the insurance arm of the Massachusetts Municipal Association
(MMA).

Ban On Balance Billing By Physicians

SEPTEMBER 2000 -
Still The Law For Retirees Living In Mass. - During her normal work day, Insurance Coordinator Cheryl Stillman
spends a good portion of time talking with members about their
insurance problems. "What I've come to notice is that members, who
retired or switched to Medicare recently, are less familiar with their
obligations, and more importantly their protections, when it comes to
medical bills," comments Stillman. "Perhaps a small refresher is in
order."