Health Insurance

Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

GIC Promotes Patient Safety

JANUARY 2001 -
Members, insured through one of the state Group Insurance Commission's
health plans, will soon be a little safer when they seek medical
treatment. For years, little has been done by the insurance industry to
combat what is known as a "preventable adverse event," or what has come
to be known in the popular press as medical errors.

Dental Plan Status

JANUARY 2001 -
As was indicated in the November edition of the Voice, the Association
is working closely with the state Group Insurance Commission (GIC) to
establish dental and vision coverage for retirees insured under one of
the state plans. This development process was established by the
governor and legislature with the goal of having a plan available for
retirees by this July 1. At press time, the retiree survey was nearing
completion and was soon to be randomly mailed to members insured
through the state GIC.

Federal Appeals Court Ruling Stirs Debate

JANUARY 2001 -
Can Insurance Plans Treat Medicare Retirees Differently? - Within retirement circles, attention has focused on a recent decision
handed by a federal court of appeals, stirring debate over its
potential impact on state and municipal health insurance programs here
in the Commonwealth. According to the 3d Circuit Court of Appeals,
health insurance plans, that provide greater benefits to younger
(pre-65) retirees than those eligible for Medicare, violate the federal
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) unless they can show equal
costs for insuring both retiree groups.

Disruptive Health Care Measure Fails

JANUARY 2001 -
Despite the fiscal restraints that will be brought about as a result of
Question 4, real disaster was avoided with the defeat of Question 5.
The ballot question, which was marketed by supporters as a step to rein
in HMOs, would have been a setback to health care in Massachusetts.

Long Term Care: An Overview

LTC Insurance May Be The Answer For Some - When the phrase "long term care" comes up, one usually thinks in terms
of nursing homes. But long term care, or LTC, encompasses much more,
including home health care, services to help an individual perform
daily activities or care in an assisted living facility.

Coalition Bargaining Still Working In Lexington

Protects Insurance Benefits For Retirees/Survivors - Lexington is one of the communities that decided, some years ago, to
accept what was then a new group insurance law known as coalition
bargaining (Section 19, Chapter 32B). Back in 1993, when Section 19 was
enacted, our Association was one of the principal sponsors of the law.

Medicare Retirees To Transfer From HMO

Harvard Pilgrim Coverage Ends January 1 - It has been a rocky road for the retirees insured in one of Harvard
Pilgrim Health Care's Medicare plans. First was the uncertain financial
future of the HMO, that left retirees wondering if the insurance giant
would survive.

Dental Plan Moves Forward

Retiree Survey Is Key To Plan Design - For the past several months, Association officers have been working
closely with officials from the state’s Group Insurance Commission
(GIC) to develop a dental plan for retirees. As members now know, the
Association was successful in securing a new law, in this year’s
budget, that requires the GIC to design a retiree pay-all dental plan,
with a target implementation date of July 1, 2001.

Quincy Retirees Win Dental Coverage

Plan Was 4 Years In The Making - City of Quincy retirees have won a rare benefit for municipal retirees
- dental insurance. Mayor James Sheets has agreed to extend the choice
of Delta Dental or Delta Care HMO dental plans to retirees effective
this October 1.

Harvard Pilgrim Scales Back Medicare Coverage

Retirees who live in the counties of Barnstable, Bristol, Plymouth, and
Worcester are soon to be in need of a new health plan, if they are
currently insured in a Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Medicare HMO. Over
11,000 public and private Medicare recipients will be affected.