Locals Remain With GIC

JANUARY 2012 VOICE: Beginning July 1, 2009, the retirees, survivors and employees in 11 communities initiated their health insurance coverage with the state Group Insurance Commission (GIC). Whether their GIC coverage would continue for 3 or 6 years depended upon the agreement that had been reached between local officials and the PEC (Public Employee Committee).

Seven of the communities – Norwood, Randolph, Stoneham, Swampscott, Watertown, Weston and Weymouth – enrolled in the GIC for 6 years. And, the other four – Melrose, Pittsfield, Quincy and Wenham – joined for 3 years, meaning that their participation in the GIC would end next June 30 (2012).

By law, a community had until this past October 1 to notify the GIC that it intended to withdraw from the program next year, June 30. According to GIC officials, they did not receive a notice from any of the four communities that they planned to withdraw.

In the November Voice, we reported that Quincy extended its enrollment with the GIC for another 6 years. “Melrose also decided to stay with the GIC, for an additional three – not six – years,” according to our PEC designee Charles Sheridan. “That also means that our Medicare retirees will continue to be reimbursed 70% of their Part B premium, which is an excellent deal especially in today’s economy.”

“We couldn’t agree with you more, Charlie,” Insurance Coordinator Cheryl Stillman remarks. “A 70% Part B refund is definitely something worth holding onto these days.”