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 May 2019
 1.9% Increase for Popular OME Plan
In late February the Navigator plan, which has
state’s Group Insurance
Commission (GIC) delivered good news to the more than 82,000 retir- ees and surviving spouses insured under its Optional Medicare Extension (OME) plan. For Fiscal Year 2020, UniCare OME premiums will increase a meager 1.9% over the current year.
For the nearly 18,000 non-Medicare retirees enrolled in the UniCare Basic with CIC plan rates will increase 2.6% for individual coverage and 2.7% for family. The GIC does not offer cou- ple or plus-1 rates. Studies have shown that because of the nature of group pric- ing, such a move would actu- ally increase premiums on retirees.
Premium increases across the GIC’s six Medicare plan options range from 0.1% for Tufts Medicare Preferred plan to a high of 2.7% for Tufts Medicare Complement. All Medicare rates are well below state and national averages, which typically range between 5-8% in 2019.
Across the 12 non-Medi- care plan options, premium increases range from a low of 0.0% for UniCare Plus to a high of 12.1% for AllWays Health Partners Complete HMO. The GIC’s popular Tufts
more than 32,000 enrollees, saw a 0.6% increase for both family and individual cov- erage. Navigator is used as a benchmark for municipal plansintermsofestablishing local cost saving measures.
“All told, the rates came in about where we expected them to be,” comments Mass Retirees’ Patricia Igo, who was present at the February 28th GIC meeting. “Combined with the fact that the GIC chose not to increase copayments or deductibles for FY20, this is very good news for our members. However, we still believe that many retirees are paying too high a price to access health- care. This is especially the case for our non-Medicare retirees, who are already paying high copayments and deductibles. We will continue to press for a solution to low- ering costs.”
While FY20 begins July 1, retirees should take note that health insurance pre- miums are billed a month in advance. This means that the new GIC rates will be paid in the June 2019 pension with- holdings. Also, GIC open enrollment takes place April 3 through May 1, 2019 during which time nine regional health fairs will take place across the Commonwealth.
                                                                   UPCOMING AREA MEETINGS
Thursday, April 18, 2019 11:00 AM
Double Tree by Hilton
99 Erdman Way, Leominster
Friday, May 3, 2019
11:00 AM
Marriott Peabody
8A Centennial Drive, Peabody
Friday, May 10, 2019
11:00 AM
Florian Hall
55 Hallet Street, Dorchester
Friday, May 17, 2019
11:00 AM
Dante Club
1198 Memorial Ave., W. Springfield

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