GIC Unveils Plan To Save $100 Million

Health Fairs Focus On Employee Reenrollment

FEBRUARY 14, 2011: The state's Group Insurance Commission has put plans in place that, if successful, are expected to save the Commonwealth upwards of $100 million for FY12, beginning on July 1, 2011. Under the plan, active state employees, enrolled in one of six limited network low-cost plans offered by the GIC for the coming year will receive free coverage for three months - a so-called "Premium Holiday."

During the 2011 open enrollment period (April 8 - May 8, 2011), all current active state employees must reenroll in one of the eleven different health insurance plans offered by the GIC for 2011. State retirees, Retired Municipal Teachers (RMT), and retired & active municipal employees are not part of the mandatory reenrollment program.

Retirees can still opt to switch their insurance coverage during the open enrollment period, if they so choose. However, only active state employees are eligible for the 3-month Premium Holiday if enrolled in one of the following limited network plans as of 7/1/11:

Fallon Community Health Plan Direct
Harvard Pilgrim Primary Choice Plan
Health New England
NHP Care - Neighborhood Health Plan
Tufts Health Plan Spirit
UniCare State Indemnity/Community Choice

Once again, the GIC will hold a series of Health Fairs across the state coinciding with the annual enrollment period. Due to the large crowds expected with the mandatory reenrollment of over 95,000 active state employees, the GIC is strictly focused on the enrollment process for this year's fairs. Unlike previous years, the 2011 fairs will not include wellness booths to check blood pressure, cholesterol or other conditions.

"I'd advise that retirees only attend this year's fairs if you are considering changing your insurance coverage. For routine questions, members can contact our office explained Association Insurance Coordinator Cheryl Stillman.

"While the mandatory reenrollment has no direct impact on retirees, we are concerned over the long-term implications. And, if the GIC does not save the $100 million targeted through reenrollment, then what," asks Association Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel. "To their credit, both Governor Patrick and Dolores Mitchell (GIC Executive Director) have said further increases in copayments and deductibles are off the table. But from where we stand, we certainly can't rest easy."

2011 GIC Health Fair Schedule