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.

Mass Retirees has filed an amendment (#91) to the Senate budget extending the municipal insurance premium moratorium for two-years - until July 1, 2018. Amendment 91, Relative to Municipal Retiree Fairness, is now pending before the Massachusetts Senate. Debate begins tomorrow, May 24th.

Amendment #91 was filed by Senator Tom McGee (D-Lynn). Cosponsors currently include Senators Ken Donnelly (D-Arlington), Michael Brady (D-Brockton), Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) and Donald Humason (R-Westfield).

Current law prevents cities and towns from increasing insurance contribution percentages, while also having raised copayments and deductibles.

As you may know, our Association successfully passed this protection for local retirees called the Municipal Insurance Premium Moratorium. This protection expires on July 1, 2016, unless the legislature approves an extension.

Whether or not you are a municipal retiree or retired teacher, we ask that you take a moment to call or email your state Senator and ask that they support Budget Amendment #91. Click here for a list of Senators and their contact information.

It is very important that we pass this amendment and continue the protection for our local members. State retirees are already protected from post-retirement increases in health insurance premium contribution percentages. It is only fair that our local members have this same basic protection.

In addition, the two-year extension of the moratorium grants the legislature the necessary time to properly address a long-term reform of retiree health insurance.

Without this extension, most municipalities will be free to increase premium splits to as high as 50/50 for retirees and surviving spouses. While some communities are, unfortunately, already at a 50/50 split, the statewide average is now approximately 75/25.

Please take a moment to contact your Massachusetts state Senator and ask that they protect local retirees by supporting Amendment #91.