Health Insurance

Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

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."

Survivors Need Help With Insurance Premiums

SEPTEMBER 2000 -
Lag Behind At The Local Level - One of the most neglected fringe benefit options in the cities, towns
and counties of Massachusetts is the contribution toward health
insurance premiums of the surviving spouses of deceased employees and
retirees by their governing authorities. Sadly, 160 of these cities,
towns and counties make no contribution toward the insurance premium of
these spouses.

Drug Costs: A National Crisis

SEPTEMBER 2000 -
What was considered a solution now appears to be a growing national
crisis. In order to contain increasing health care costs, particularly
those related to hospitalization, the push for greater utilization of
prescription drugs was advanced over the past several years. If a
patient could be treated for a condition with medication, costing far
less than hospital care, then why incur the additional cost?

Retirees Outraged Over Prescription Changes

SEPTEMBER 2000 -
Rocky Transition To Express Scripts - It will come as no surprise to members impacted by the Group Insurance
Commission's decision to contract with a new pharmacy benefits manager
(PBM) that the Association has been deluged with calls, letters, and
email from angry retirees.

Berkshire County Insurance Group

JULY 2000 -
Insurance Pool Continues Despite County Abolition - Exactly two years ago, we reported in the Voice on what is claimed to
be the oldest municipal health insurance pool in the Commonwealth - the
Plymouth County Health Insurance Program. Under state law (Chapter 32B)
counties, like Plymouth, can establish a health insurance program and
offer it to the municipalities, as well as authorities, districts and
other subdivisions, in that county.

Dental Passes Senate

JULY 2000 -
Senate budget writers have included our Association’s language to
institute retiree dental coverage within their version of the FY 2001
budget. The language is identical to that used by the House in April,
including $150,000 to conduct the study necessary to get the plan off
the ground.