Articles about Medicare that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees
Warren, Neal, Clark, McGovern and Tsongas Help Protect Retirees
OCTOBER 27, 2015: The federal government is about to come to the aid of public retirees who have been bracing for a major increase in Medicare Part B premiums for 2016.
Medicare Rates May Increase for Some Retirees
OCTOBER 9, 2015: A flat Consumer Price Index (CPI) means there will be no COLA increase under Social Security for 2016. The CPI-W is the federal standard used to calculate inflation.
Since 1987, a national debate has raged as to whether or not the CPI-W is an accurate gauge for retirees. Many, including our Association, feel a more accurate measure is the CPI-E (Elderly), which looks to inflationary pressures such as healthcare costs that impact retirees on a larger scale.
Only Medicare Retirees Subcribed to State Unicare Plan Impacted
July 2015 Voice: As of January 1, 2016 retirees enrolled in the state Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) Optional Medicare Extension (OME) plan will receive their prescription drug benefits through a federal Medicare program known as EGWP.
The acronym, pronounced “Egg-Whip”, stands for Employer Group Waiver Program. Essentially, EGWP is a prescription drug program run by the federal government through Medicare Part D.
Association Initiative Would Lower Expense Cap
MAY 2015 VOICE: After five-years of low cost growth and medical inflation, retiree costs with the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) are set to jump come July 1, 2015. The sharp increase in what some retirees will be forced to pay for healthcare has resulted in an Association legislative proposal seeking to lower the cap on out-of-pocket costs.
WASHINGTON — Concerned about the rising prevalence and sophistication of identity theft, most private health insurance companies have abandoned the use of Social Security numbers to identify individuals. The federal government even forbids private insurers to use the numbers on insurance cards when they provide medical or drug benefits under contract with Medicare.
Social Security & Medicare Central Issues
FEBRUARY 1, 2014: This past week Association President Frank Valeri and Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel met with members of the Massachusetts’ Congressional Delegation in Washington, DC.
Valeri and Duhamel were in the nation’s capital to attend the annual legislative conference of the National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), to which the Association belongs. They met with the offices of all nine members of Congress, as well as Senior Senator Elizabeth Warren.
OCTOBER 1, 2013: Today marks the nationwide kickoff of the new health insurance exchanges, the main component of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly called Obamacare. Between now and December 15, individuals can sign up for one of the health insurance plans being offered through their state’s exchange, with insurance coverage
3.5% Increase Below State National Averages
MAY 2013 VOICE: Once again the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) has been able to hold the line on insurance premium rate increases, beating both the state and national averages for an average increase of 3.5% across its offering of health plans.
By Josh Hicks
April 8, 2013
New York Times
By JACKIE CALMES and ROBERT PEAR
Published: March 28, 2013
WASHINGTON — As they explore possible fiscal deals, President Obama and Congressional Republicans have quietly raised the idea of broad systemic changes to Medicare that could produce significant savings and end the polarizing debate over Republican plans to privatize the insurance program for older Americans.