Good News Flows From GIC

Good News Flows From GIC
GIC Executive Director Dolores Mitchell

FY2015 Insurance Rates Hold Steady at 1% Increase

MARCH 6, 2014: State and municipal retirees, receiving their health insurance through the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC), received welcome good news on Wednesday – health insurance premiums for FY15 will remain largely unchanged.

Led by Executive Director Dolores Mitchell, the 15-member Commission unanimously voted to approve the contracts and FY15 rates for the 6 Medicare and 12 non-Medicare plans. Across all GIC plans, the average premium increase is just 1%. For Medicare plans alone, the increase registers 1.4%.

However, those members insured under the GIC’s Optional Medicare Extension (OME) plan will see their monthly premium go down by -0.4%, which amounts to $1.39 less on the total cost of the OME monthly premium.

As previously reported, the majority of the GIC’s copayments remain identical to their current FY14 levels, as does the non-Medicare annual deductible of $250 per person ($750 max per family). Most of the GIC’s Medicare plans carry a $35 annual deductible.

“We now have five consecutive years of both stable premium contributions and a freeze on out-of-pocket cost increases. This is great news for those members who receive their insurance through the state’s GIC,” explains Shawn Duhamel, who leads the Association’s healthcare policy team. “Cities and towns are also beginning to report little to no health insurance premium increases for the coming year.

“While it is too early to declare victory over healthcare cost inflation, the steps Massachusetts has taken over the past several years do appear to be working. If these trends continue, it really should help silence the critics who’ve been calling for severe cuts in retiree healthcare benefits and requiring retirees to pay more.”