Health Insurance

Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

Harvard Pilgrim In Trouble

MARCH 2000 - HMO Now Under State Control - With
the birth of a new year, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) has found
itself in severe financial difficulty after registering a $197 million
loss in 1999. The first week of January, it became known that HPHC had
lost $78 million more for the year than had previously been assumed. As
the company teetered on the verge of bankruptcy, state officials and
the Supreme Judicial Court promptly placed HPHC under state
receivership.

Health Insurance Pool Continues Growth

JANUARY 2000 - MIIA Plan Now Includes 52 Towns - Being
the state's largest municipal health insurance pool best describes the
Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association (MIIA) Health Benefits
Trust. MIIA is the insurance arm of the Massachusetts Municipal
Association (MMA).

Insurance Advisory's Role At Issue

JANUARY 2000 - Plymouth Committee Sues Town - In
what could possibly become a landmark legal decision, the Town of
Plymouth's Insurance Advisory Committee has filed suit against the town
in superior court. The suit alleges that the town failed to comply with
state law by not including the advisory committee in discussions
regarding the town's insurance plans.

Dental Plan On Horizon

JANUARY 2000 - State and Local Retirees Would Be Eligible - Association
lobbyists are on the verge of a major breakthrough in providing
comprehensive dental and vision coverage to members insured through the
state's Group Insurance Commission (GIC). The news follows several
attempts in recent years to obtain coverage for state and local
retirees insured under the GIC.

Paying For Nursing Home Care

NOVEMBER 1999 - Medicaid Limits On Assets And Income For Public Retirees - Unfortunately,
some of our members face the prospect of nursing home care either for
themselves or their loved ones. One major consideration is how to pay
for this care which currently averages between $40,000 to $65,000
annually.

HMOs Drop Medicare Coverage

NOVEMBER 1999 - GIC Weighs Future Options - A
recent health care trend here in Massachusetts and throughout the
country has brought concern to the state's Group Insurance Commission
(GIC). Over the past year, several of the state's premier Health
Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) have eliminated or reduced their
Medicare coverage.

Northbridge Approves Insurance Aid For Survivors: Town To Pay 68%

SEPTEMBER 1999 - Northbridge
town meeting members recentlyapproved an article which allows the town
to contribute 68% toward the health insurance cost of the surviving
spouse of a deceased town employee.

Kaiser Withdraws From Region

SEPTEMBER 1999 - Retirees To Switch Plans - When
you as a member sign up for membership in an HMO, remember - there is
no surefire guarantee that the HMO will still be in business a few
years down the road.

Funding Health Care Costs

MAY 1999 - Move Underway At Local Level - Back
some 6 years ago, we reported on legislation, by then House Public
Service co-chair Kevin Blanchette, to allow funding of health insurance
costs for public retirees (July '93 Voice). "As Public Service
co-chair, Kevin was a good friend of the Association," according to
Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel. "He was also very pro-active when it
came to safeguarding retiree benefits over the long term."

GIC Rates To Increase

MAY 1999 - Remain Below National Average - As
was expected, the state insurance rates for FY’2000 will increase for
the third consecutive year. The state’s Group Insurance Commission
(GIC) approved the slight rate hike at their March 5 meeting.