November 2006

Springfield To Join GIC

NOV 2006 - Retirees Win Concessions - The City of Springfield is about to take an important step in the battle to control its healthcare costs, that could mark the beginning of a statewide movement.As of January 1, over 8,500 Springfield retirees, survivors, active employees and their dependents will join the state-run Group Insurance Commission. In doing so, the Commonwealth’s third largest city will become the first municipality to enroll in the state’s health insurance plans.

GIC Retiree Vision Plan Now In Its Sixth Year

NOV 2006 - Insurers Bid On
State’s Retiree Dental Plan
- Over five years ago, the state’s Group Insurance Commission
(GIC) embarked upon a vision program for its retirees and their families. “Now
in its sixth year, the GIC’s Retiree Vision Plan offers something a bit different
from one’s usual insurance coverage with the state,” explains Association
Insurance Coordinator Cheryl Stillman.

Retirement Board Profile: Quincy

Nov 2006 - Known as the “City of Presidents”, Quincy has long played a
central role in national politics, as well on the local scene in Massachusetts.
The city, which also serves as the gateway to the South
Shore, was the home of the second
and sixth US
Presidents.

Primer on "HOT" Health Insurance Issues

NOV 2006 - What Do They Mean? -  By way of our numerous media outlets, including the Voice, 24-hour hotline and website, we strive to keep you updated on the latest developments involving your health insurance. From reading and listening to these sources, you know that there are several insurance issues which will remain front and center – put simply, “hot”  – over the ensuing months and years. In this primer, we included a brief explanation on what some of these issues mean. It’s hoped that you find it informative and helpful.

O'Brien Named Plymouth County Treasurer

NOV 2006 - Former Representative Close Association Ally - As we reported in the September edition of the Voice, longtime
Plymouth County Treasurer John McLellan retired in early August after
thirty-three years of public service. What was not known, at that time, was who
would be appointed to fill the two years remaining in McLellan’s unexpired
term.

Feds Begin "Means" Testing On Medicare Premiums

NOV 2006 - Incomes Above $80,000 Targeted - In what will undoubtedly come as a surprise to many members, the federal government will soon require retirees with higher incomes to pay a greater portion of their Medicare Part B premium, which, in most cases is deducted from their Social Security check.

A Look At The City Of Lynn Pensions

NOV 2006 - Comparable To State Retirees - Because our Association includes a large number of retired
municipal employees and survivors within our membership, from time-to-time we
focus on the pension demographics of individual retirement systems.

It's Patrick For Governor


NOV 2006 - Every so often an election takes on historic importance, not
only because of who the candidates are, but because of the policy changes that
hinge upon the outcome.

This year’s election pits Democrats Deval Patrick and Tim
Murray against Republicans Kerry Healey and Reed Hillman. While the race and
gender of the two gubernatorial nominees have made national headlines, our
Association is most interested in the changes that will be brought forth by the
person who holds the corner office for the next four years.

High Hopes For New Session

NOV 2006 - Progress in working the halls of government is often more
like a marathon than a sprint. Unless a crisis ensues to force quick action,
legislative activity can often take years to bring about, even for the most
compelling issues.

Heart Gene Pioneer Patient Dies

NOV 2006 - In our March 2000 edition of the Voice, we published a letter from
Association member Ed Giers of Cocoa Beach, Florida who wanted to share his
experience with experimental heart gene therapy, hoping to give inspiration to
others.