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.

The approved rates are far lower than the 8.6% average increase projected by the GIC just two months ago. In January, the Commission voted to increase the non-Medicare annual deductible to $500 per person and $1,000 per family, along with creating a new non-Medicare prescription drug deductible and a first ever office visit copayment for OME subscribers.

The new OME office visit copayment is $10 per visit – a compromise made by the Commission in February following their earlier decision to set the copayment at $20 per visit across all Medicare plans. After our Association expressed our deep concern regarding the ability of many retirees to afford such prices, the GIC lowered the copayment to $10 for OME subscribers and $15 for all other Medicare plan subscribers.

As stated in the March 2017 edition of the Voice, our Association is now working to create a more reasonable cap on annual out-of-pocket costs at both the state and local level. Instead of the current $5,000 per person ($10,000 per family) maximum now established by the GIC, we have proposed a new level of $2,500 / $5,000.

In addition Mass Retirees is the lead sponsor of a new legislative proposal to reform retiree health insurance for future retirees, while creating new legal protections for existing retirees. The bill, sponsored by House Majority Leader Ron Mariano (D-Quincy) is expected to be a main focus during the current legislative session.