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RETIRED STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION OF MASSACHUSETTS
TM
OF THE RETIRED PUBLIC EMPLOYEE
11 BEACON STREET, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS 02108-3030 | (617) 723-7283 | WWW.MASSRETIREES.COM MARCH 2018 GIC REVERSES
CI ONTROVERSIAL VOTE Mass Retirees & Unions Rally For Displaced Members
n the most controversial decision since the 1988 move to drop Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s Group
Insurance Commission (GIC) ignited a firestorm of outrage from employees and retirees in January with a split vote to consolidate health plan offerings.
The split 8-5 vote on January 18th would have dropped Fallon, Harvard Pilgrim and Tufts (non-Medicare plans) from the GIC’s health plan offerings for FY19, which begins July 1, 2018. More than 34,000 non-Medicare retirees and some 100,000 active employees would have been displaced and forced to enroll in a new health plan.
On January 25, President Frank Valeri testified before GIC, opposing any reduction in health insurers. One week later, GIC Commissioners voted to retain all six non-Medicare / Active carriers and four of five Medicare carriers.
UniCare, Health New England and Neighborhood Health Plan were to be offered as the GIC’s exclusive non-Medicare carriers. The move to consolidate plans was intended help curb rising healthcare costs, reportedly
saving some $20.5 million in FY19.
However, due to an outcry of protest from Mass Retirees and all public employee unions, the GIC moved on February 1 to
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MAJOR CHANGES TO
GIC’s UniCare plans, including the popular Optional Medicare Exten- sion (OME) plan. SilverScript is the so-called “carve out” option designed to save money.
“In addition to their retail stores, CVS operates one of the largest pharmacy management businesses in the world. They manage both the mail order program, as well as oversee and approve all prescrip- tions written,” explains Legislative Director Shawn Duhamel. “This
GIC Rx PROGRAM
VS & ExPRESS SCRIPTS SELECTED FOR PBM
CIn December, the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) madeitsfirstmajordecisionforthe FY19 contract year
the past, pharmacy management waslargelyconductedbyeachindi- vidual health plan. Now single
vendors will be by selecting two Potential 3-Year responsible for phar-
pharmacy benefit
managers (PBM) to
operate the GIC’s
pharmacy program.
The unanimous decision splits the contract between CVS Caremark and Express Scripts.
Last summer, the GIC announced that it was “carving out” PBM serv- ices across all its health plans. In
Medicare plans does not mean that members are
Savings Over $700 Million
macy management for Medicare and non-
respectively.
Rhode Island-based CVS will
operate the SilverScript pharmacy program for all of the GIC’s Medicare eligible retirees. For the past decade, CVS has been the pharmacy vendor for all of the
required to get your prescriptions filled at CVS retail stores. As of now, you can continue to shop wherever you’d like. However, at times CVS may offer additional savings by using their stores.”
Similarly, pharmacy benefits for all non-Medicare health insurance plans are also being carved out
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