Articles about Health Insurance that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees
FEBRUARY 19, 2014: Annual open enrollment for the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) is set to run from April 9 – May 7, 2014. If you receive your insurance through the GIC this is your opportunity to make changes to your insurance coverage for the coming fiscal year.
Argue Before State’s Highest Court
February 5, 2014: For more than 6 years, we’ve been reporting on the activities of the Middleborough Retiree Insurance Group (MRIG) which organized back in ’07. “Our Association has a tradition of working with local retiree groups, particularly on the issues of municipal health insurance and local pension COLAs (Cost-of-Living Adjustments),” according to President Valeri. “That relationship includes Middleboro.
JANUARY 2014 VOICE: An issue of great concern to the Association is the end of the legal moratorium on increasing retiree and survivor health insurance contribution rates.
Within the Municipal Insurance Reform law (Chapter 69, Acts of 2011), our Association was able to secure language that has prohibited many cities and towns from increasing contribution rates on retirees and survivors over the past three years. The moratorium applies to any community that fully implements the provisions of Chapter 69.
JANUARY 2014 VOICE: Active employees turned out in droves for a public hearing on retiree healthcare reform held at the State House on Halloween.
The marathon hearing, before the Joint Committee on Public Service, lasted more than 6 hours. More than five hundred people filled the meeting room, bearing witness to a host of government, retiree and labor officials who testified on the proposal known as H59.
2013 Legislative Session Winds Down
NOVEMBER 12, 2013: Hundreds of public employees from across all walks of state and local government made their concerns known at a packed public hearing on retiree healthcare reform on October 31st.
The hearing, on H59, was held before the Joint Committee on Public Service. Chaired by Senator William Brownsberger (D-Belmont) and Rep. Aaron Michlewitz (D-North End), the Public Service Committee is now conducting a thorough review of the bill.
Public Hearing on H59 Thursday
OCTOBER 28, 2013: Arguably the biggest issue to come before the legislature during the current two-year session reenters center stage on Beacon Hill this week, when H59, the much watched Retiree Healthcare Reform proposal, receives a public hearing.
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
SEPTEMBER 2013 VOICE: In its second annual report on out-of-pocket costs (OPC), the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) has found that the non-premium costs borne by retirees and employees actually dropped 3.8% between FY11-12.
The $77 million savings lowered the average OPC to $1,030 per enrollee. OPC includes copayments and deductibles paid when accessing health insurance benefits. It does not include insurance premiums and the cost of over the counter drugs that are not covered by insurance.
H59 Retiree Insurance Reform Eyed For Fall
SEPTEMBER 2013 VOICE: The Joint Committee on Public Service has favorably released a key bill of particular importance to public retirees.
Under the direction of Co-Chairmen, Senator Will Brownsberger and Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, the Committee unanimously advanced legislation aimed at correcting Option B & C pensions for pre-July 2004 retirees (H2354). Also, among the bills heard by Public Service, is our legislation which increases basic state life insurance benefits from $5,000 to $10,000 (H2288).
H59 Marks Largest Issue of 2013
AUGUST 7, 2013: The Joint Committee on Public Service has announced that on October 31, 2013 it will hold the long awaited public hearing on H59, Governor Deval Patrick’s proposal to reform retiree healthcare benefits.
As members know, H59 largely reflects the findings of the 2012 Special Commission on Retiree Healthcare, on which our Association held a seat. Legislative Liaison Shawn Duhamel represented public retirees on the Commission.