Articles about Local Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees
15 Statewide Health Fairs Scheduled
MARCH 19, 2012: The Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission will hold its annual Open Enrollment period from April 9 through May 7, 2012. During this period, all retirees and employees insured under one of the GIC plans may switch their insurance coverage.
During this time period, the GIC will hold a series of Health Fairs across the state - fifteen in all.
MARCH 19, 2012: Massachusetts cities and towns have reached nearly $80 million in first-year savings from municipal health care reform and are on pace to exceed by far the initial estimate of $100 million, according to the most recent data compiled by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
Focus On New Municipal Insurance Law
FEBRUARY 14, 2012: Association members were among the over 200 attendees at a recent forum on the new Municipal Health Insurance (MHI) law, that was held at Boston Fire Local 718’s Florian Hall in Dorchester. They gathered together as the retiree designees on the Public Employee Committee (PEC) for their community or school district.
FEBRUARY 1, 2012: Over 100 employees and retirees attended today’s annual public hearing of the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) held in Minihan Hall at the Lindemann Center.
Dolores Mitchell, Executive Director of the GIC, presented an extensive update of all commission activities and an estimated projection of future needs and costs.
Mitchell started by pointing out that the Commonwealth could be under some pressure from the added costs of Federal health care reform.
SPRINGFIELD – This city has $761.6 million in unfunded liabilities for municipal retiree health benefits, which works out to more than $12,000 in unfunded liabilities per single-family home.
Holyoke has $300 million in unfunded liabilities, working out to about $18,000 in unfunded liability per single-family home, or about 59 percent of Holyoke’s median household income, according to a study recently released by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.
JANUARY 13, 2012: Yesterday, January 12th the Mass. Taxpayers Foundation (MTF) under its ubiquitous leader Michael Widmer unleashed an untimely attack on municipal health insurance costs.
A brief summary of the report was included in today’s Boston Globe, including a response by Shawn Duhamel, Legislative Liaison of our Association and Ed Kelly, President of the Professional Firefighters Union.
Group is alarmed by benefit funding
By Travis Andersen
January 13, 2012
A Beacon Hill watchdog group has released a report indicating that steep cuts to education and other public services are inevitable in 10 of the state’s most cash-strapped cities to fund the rising cost of health care for their municipal retirees, unless the Legislature makes changes.
It has been more than three decades since Proposition 2½ became the law of the land here in the commonwealth, but there is no question that the last few years have been the hardest on municipalities. A combination of shrinking revenue on the federal, state, and local levels has met up with a near-record growth in the costs of health care and pension funds. The result is a bleak present and, in all likelihood, a dimmer foreseeable future.
JANUARY 2012 VOICE: Over the course of the two and a half years that the “old” Section 18A was law, Wilbraham wasn’t the only one to adopt it. Other communities also did, most notably the cities of Boston and Lowell.
“I received a two-page notice from the city (Boston) about switching over to Medicare,” retired firefighter Marty Fisher reports to us. “Local 718 (Boston Firefighters Union) has held meetings to help retirees with this.”
Agreement Includes Premium Holiday
JANUARY 2012 VOICE: In our November Voice, we highlighted several of the communities that had adopted the new Municipal Health Insurance (MHI) law in order to join the state Group Insurance Commission (GIC). But, let’s not forget there is another major component to MHI, namely the option to make plan design changes (Section 22 of Chapter 32B). Gardner became the first municipality to implement the plan design option.