GIC To Reconsider Health Plan Consolidation

GIC To Reconsider Health Plan Consolidation
Mass Retirees President Frank Valeri

Announcement Made At Packed Public Hearing

 

JANUARY 25, 2018: Following urgent requests from Mass Retirees, union leaders and elected officials the state’s Group Insurance Commission has bowed to public pressure and will reconsider its decision to consolidate the number of health plans offered.

 

Earlier today, Association President Frank Valeri delivered pointed testimony on behalf of the more than 34,000 retirees, surviving spouses and dependents who stand to be displaced by the elimination of Fallon, Harvard Pilgrim and Tufts as GIC insurance providers. Tufts is slated to remain on as a Medicare only provider.

 

In his remarks, Valeri referenced a series of requests made to the GIC by Mass Retirees:

  • Reconsider the January 18th vote and explore offering an additional statewide non-Medicare insurer.
  • Freezing any increases in out-of-pocket costs for the three-year duration of the provider contracts. The last three years have brought about more than $300 million in new OPC for retirees and employees, which place the costs borne by GIC enrollees at or, in some cases, above the peer universe.
  • Procedural reforms to the procurement and plan design processes to allow for proper public input BEFORE Commission votes are taken.
    • Public Hearings Before Changes Are Approved
    • Allow cities and towns the ability to enter or leave the GIC once health plans are chosen and plan design decisions are made.

“Mass Retirees thanks the union leaders and elected officials who have spoken out against this drastic decision and urged the GIC to reconsider its January 18th vote. We also thank Attorney General Maura Healey, who has taken the unprecedented step of launching an investigation into the GIC’s open meeting process,” says Legislative Director Shawn Duhamel. “Late last summer we began to sound the alarm over what we feared was coming from the GIC. Back then Commission officials dismissed our claims as “inflammatory”.

 

“Our hope is that some long-term good will come of this crisis. Passing legislation that reforms the 17-member Commission, by installing a Mass Retirees representative, along with greater union representation, would be a great place to start.”

 

The GIC is scheduled to meet on Thursday, February 1, 2018 to reconsider their vote to consolidate health plans.

 

Hundreds of retirees, active employees, elected officials and advocates turned out for today's public hearing resulting in long lines that extended well outside the doors of the state's Hurley Building. More than half the attendees were ultimately turned away, once the meeting room swelled to capacity.

 

In the meantime, the GIC will continue to hold public hearings, including an additional Boston hearing taking place on Tuesday, January 30 from 2-3:30.

 

Complete meeting details can be found here.

 

 

The GIC is also accepting the submission of online comments, by clicking here.

 

 

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