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Mass Retirees Fights Rising Insurance Costs

Budget Amendment Caps Payments

APRIL 14, 2017: Together with an AFL-CIO backed coalition of public employee unions, Mass Retirees has sponsored an amendment to the FY18 House budget proposal that lowers the cap on out-of-pocket health insurance costs.

Mass Retirees Endorses Paul Shanley For PRIM Board

PRIM BALLOTS DUE - Tuesday, MAY 9th

APRIL 10, 2017: For those retired members of STATE Retirement system who have not submitted ballots for this very important election at the State Pension Reserves Investment Management board (PRIM); Please vote on-line before Tuesday, May 9th  before 5pm, or by mail, postmarked before such deadline!

“Its essential we continue to have a voice on the investment arm of our state pension system, please vote for Paul Shanley”, Association President Frank Valeri.

Remembering Senator Ken Donnelly

Remembering Senator Ken Donnelly

Loyal Friend and Staunch Retiree Advocate

APRIL 7, 2017: The news of Senator Ken Donnelly’s passing on April 2nd after an 8-month battle with brain cancer was met with great sadness on Beacon Hill, across the firefighter community and amongst our members.

Donnelly, a retired Lt. from the Lexington Fire Dept. was not only a Mass Retirees member, but maintained a close friendship and collaboration with our Association dating back three decades.

Your guide to the most contentious parts of the GOP health-care plan

As printed by the Washington Post, March 24th.

Is the Republican health-care plan a return to freedom or a watered-down version of Obamacare? Will Republicans placate their base with a major legislative achievement, or will this be the party’s undoing for a generation of voters?

We’ve published the most incisive arguments from health experts and our columnists in the two weeks since Republicans unveiled this bill. As the debate reaches a climax, we’re giving you a guide to that commentary — pro and con, divided by subject matter:

GIC Sets FY18 Insurance Rates

GIC Sets FY18 Insurance Rates

OME Plan To Increase 1.6%

MARCH 3, 2017: This week the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to set insurance plan rates for FY18, which begins July 1.

Rates for the popular Optional Medicare Extension (OME) plan will increase by 1.6%. Last year rates for this plan decreased by 7.1%.

Retirees not eligible for Medicare, who are insured under the GIC’s Indemnity Plan with CIC coverage (run by UniCare) face a 3.6% increase. The average increase across all GIC sponsored plans is 3.8% for the coming year.

Retirees Push Back on Cost Shifting

GIC Lowers Medicare Copayment

GIC Set To Increase Out-of-Pocket Costs

Association Calls for Reconsideration

FEBRUARY 10, 2017: The state’s Group Insurance Commission is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, February 14th to finalize plan design and rates for FY17, which begins July 1.

Together with a coalition of active employee unions, our Association has called upon Governor Charlie Baker and the GIC to reconsider its plan to increase out-of-pocket costs. Baker, like past governors, controls all appointments to the Commission.

With Trump meeting today, Richard Neal of Mass. enters tax overhaul fray

With Trump meeting today, Richard Neal of Mass. enters tax overhaul fray

WASHINGTON — He’s known as the insider’s insider, a veteran relationship-builder on Capitol Hill, a quiet dealmaker.

Now the low-key, pragmatic Massachusetts lawmaker, Representative Richard Neal, is facing a challenge that could win him a new title: Miracle-worker.

Valeri Elected to State Retirement Board

Succeeds Association Founder Ralph White

The following is special message from Association President Frank Valeri:

Attention State Retirement System Retirees: Maris Update!

This coming January, the Massachusetts State Retirement Board (MSRB) will implement the first phase of its new information system, MARIS, replacing the Board’s current forty-year-old computer system.

For retirees of the Massachusetts State Employees’ Retirement System (MSERS), the first monthly benefit payment using MARIS will be the regularly scheduled payment for January 2017.

For more information or to access the State Retirement Board's new MARIS system, click here.

How Trump May Remake Medicare

Howard Gleckman,  Forbes Contributor

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump was largely silent on Medicare, though he often suggested he’d leave the program untouched.

Not any more. It now looks as if Trump may push for major changes in the principal health care program for older adults and some younger people with disabilities. But what will he do?

Retirement Board Election Alert

Dear Fellow State Retiree:

IF YOU HAVE NOT VOTED YET FOR THE YOUR STATE RETIREMENT BOARD ELECTION, ITS NOT TOO LATE.

Ralph White Steps Down From State Board

Ralph White Steps Down From State Board

Association President Frank Valeri Is A Candidate For Seat

October 17, 2016: Former Association President Ralph White has decided to step down from serving as one of the elected members for the State Retirement Board. He was first elected to serve on the State Retirement Board in January of 1997 and has served continuously since that time. Twenty years later his successor as Association President, Frank Valeri, has announced his candidacy to run for his open seat.

Legislature Extends Municipal Retiree Insurance Moratorium

Association & Labor Leaders Work Through Weekend

AUGUST 1, 2016: With just 9 minutes remaining in the formal legislative session for the year (which ended Sunday at midnight), the State Senate voted to override Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of a law protecting municipal and teacher retirees from runaway health insurance costs.

Retiree Insurance Moratorium Vote Pending

As Legislature Convenes Rare Weekend Session

JULY 29, 2016: Our legislative team will be at work on Beacon Hill through the last weekend in July as the state legislature holds rare back-to-back weekend sessions. The Saturday-Sunday sessions mark the end of the formal legislative calendar for the year.

WEP Reform Moves Forward on Bumpy Road

Disagreement Among Advocates Raises Concern

JULY 18, 2016: A week that began with the promise of legislation reforming the Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) advancing in Congress, has instead ended with the bill suffering a setback.

Association officials spent two days last week in Washington, DC, working side-by-side with coalition partners from Texas in an effort to advance WEP reform through Congress this year.

Making Social Security fair for all

Let's Fix The WEP Law Now

Governor Baker Vetoes Municipal Retiree Insurance Protection

Legislative Override Sought

JULY 8, 2016: Despite wide bipartisan legislative support, Governor Charlie Baker vetoed the two-year extension of the Municipal Retiree Health Insurance Premium Moratorium.

Association officials are now seeking a House and Senate override of the veto, which must take place no later than July 30th.

Legislature Extends Municipal Insurance Moratorium

Retiree Insurance Reform Likely Topic in 2017-18 Session

JUNE 30, 2016: On the final day of Fiscal Year 2016, the State Legislature passed a new state budget for the coming fiscal year. Contained within the budget, as Section 45, is a two-year extension of the Municipal Retiree Insurance Premium Moratorium.

Work Continues on WEP Reform

Association Officials Visit Capitol Hill

JUNE 27, 2016: With just three weeks to go before the US Congress breaks for its summer recess prior to the national Republican and Democratic Conventions in July, work on a potential fix for Social Security’s dreaded Windfall Elimination Provision continues at a feverish pace on Capitol Hill.

Legislature Considers Retiree Insurance Moratorium Extension

Protects Municipal Retirees and Teachers From Unfair Rate Increases

JUNE 21, 2016: Members are asked to contact their Massachusetts State Senator and Representative and ask that they support Section 46 of the Senate Budget – which protects municipal retirees and retired teachers from unfair increases in local health insurance premiums.

Senate Approves Retiree Insurance Protection

Senate Approves Retiree Insurance Protection

Municipal Premium Moratorium Extended Two Years

MAY 24, 2016: Today, the MA State Senate unanimously passed an amendment to the FY17 budget that extends the municipal retiree insurance premium moratorium for two years - until July 1, 2018. Amendment 91, which received widespread bipartisan support, was passed on a voice vote during the first day of the Senate budget debate.

Association Announces New Discount Program

Association Announces New Discount Program

Zebit is Online Resource Exclusively for Members

MAY 23, 2016: Our Association has some exciting news that I would like to be the first to share with you.

As you know, in addition to our advocacy work for public retirees, we also seek ways for members to save money through exclusive discount programs. Due to the success of these programs, retirees have asked that we offer more ways for members to save.

You asked. We listened.

Municipal Insurance Amendment Before Senate

Extends Insurance Premium Moritorium Until July 2018

MAY 23, 2016: Members are asked for your help in protecting municipal retirees and retired teachers. Health insurance benefits for both groups are largely under the control of local governments, some of which are now threatening to increase insurance premium contribution percentages.

Passing of Geraldine "Geri" White

Served Mass Retirees Association for Thirty Years

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Geraldine White, following a short illness. Geri, as her family and friends knew her, was married to Association founder and former President Ralph White for over 60 years. Together, Ralph and Geri had four children, seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter.