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The Voice of the Retired Public Employee
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under a single provider. Saint Louis-based Express Scripts was selected as the PBM for all non-Medicare retirees and active employees enrolled in the GIC. Nationally, Express Scripts and CVS are fierce rivals in the PBM marketplace.
The new contracts include vendor discounts, methods and services designed to achieve con- siderable savings over the three-year contracts (two one-year extensions possible). According to the GIC, potential savings under Express Scripts range from $371 million to $513 million.
Under the Medicare Sil- verScript plan, run by CVS, the savings ranges from $135 to $193 million. Members should note that the transition to enroll all Medicare eligi- ble retirees under the federal EGWP prescrip- tion drug program has already achieved sub- stantial annual savings. The GIC first initiated EGWP for the OME plan back in 2015, saving over $60 million annually and stabilizing premiums. It has been extended to the other Medicare plans.
“While it is too early to know the impact of these potential savings on overall healthcare costs, I expect and sincerely hope that these moves will ultimately benefit our members. In recent years, we’ve witnessed sharp increases in out-of- pocket costs that have
Express Scripts Representatives: Roger Holland, VP Sales, Public Sector & Tracy Egler, VP Federal & Public Sector Sales
proven particularly onerous to retirees,” said Association President Frank Valeri. “At the very least, this should end any talk of further increases in copayments or deductibles for the foreseeable future.”
Decisions on copayments and deductibles, as well as overall plan design, will be made in late February by the 17-member Commission. Once out- of-pocket costs have been set, the Com- mission will approve monthly premiums for FY19 – which begins on July 1, 2018.
In terms of the transition from an exist- ing PBM to Express Scripts, GIC offi- cials have stated that the process will begin soon after the open enrollment period in April and be completed well before the new contract begins on July 1. This includes coordinating prescrip- tion renewals and fulfillments to ensure a smooth transition.
“We believe that members will receive pertinent information and new insurance cards in late spring. The fine details will be worked out this winter and we’ll be sure to keep members well informed. Both CVS and Express Scripts are indus- try leaders and have these types of tran- sitions down to a science,” says Insur- ance Coordinator Cheryl Stillman. “If members have questions or concerns, we are certainly here to help. Just bear in mind that we do not have specific answers to plan design questions or copayments costs at this time. That infor- mation will be known later in February.”
Edmonds Former Dukakis & Romney Official
Governor Charlie Baker appointed state retiree Jane Edmonds to the retiree seat on the state’s Group Insur- ance Commission (GIC). Edmonds replaces former Belmont State Representative Anne Paulsen, whose term expired last fall.
As reported in the January
edition of the Voice, Mass
Retirees had called on Baker to reappoint Paulsen to a new three-year term. Instead Baker opted to select Edmonds, who retired from state service in 2007 after serving in both the Dukakis and Romney Administrations.
Edmonds, who currently serves as VP of Governance at Babson College, was MCAD chair from 1979-1980. She also directed the Department of Workforce Development (2003-2007), appointed by former Governor Mitt Romney.
“We had hoped to see Anne reap- pointed, but understand that the decision
is entirely with the governor. She was a fantastic Commis- sioner, always fighting hard to protect public retirees. Anne frequently raised the question of affordability and pushed back against rising out-of- pockets,” said Legislative Direc- tor Shawn Duhamel. “Thanks Anne for all your advocacy on
behalf of retirees and survivors. “We have spoken with Jane Edmonds several times since she was appointed. She is well qualified, highly regarded and did vote to reinstate Fallon, Harvard Pilgrim and Tufts as GIC plan
options for FY19.”
Mass Retirees joins with public
employee unions in calling for the passage of legislation that would recon- stitute the GIC’s 17-member composi- tion. The move would create a more bal- anced board and allow for Mass Retirees to nominate the GIC’s retiree represen- tative.
JANE EDMONDS New GIC Commissioner

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