Focus on PECs & Local Insurance Issues

Legislative changes in 2011 altered how municipalities bargained for health insurance with active employees and retirees. At that time many of the municipalities across the Commonwealth took advantage of the new law and either made benchmark changes to their existing plans or transferred members to the GIC.

After the initial round of changes, health insurance remained relatively stable up until late last year. This uptick in activity brought to light that many of the Public Employee Committees (PECs) that were created and active in many municipalities had now become defunct or disbanded all together.

Mass Retirees along with our partners at AFT-MA, MTA and the PFFM, recognized the need for training and education opportunities for retirees and employees serving on PECs. This then led to a conversation with the Labor Division of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

On October 5th BCBS, in conjunction with Mass Retirees, AFT-MA, MTA, PFFM hosted a first of its kind Public Sector Educational Discussion for active employees and retirees who participate in PECs. Ed Note: Mass Retirees appoints the only retiree designee serving on a PEC.

It’s noteworthy that Association members on PECs attended the forum. We were also joined by John Brouder, former partner at Boston Benefit Partners, and a longtime health insurance consultant for labor.

Presentations on the bargaining process, the role of a consultant, background information on joint purchasing arrangements and what data the PEC should be requesting. The morning concluded with a panel discussion and an opportunity for those in attendance to ask questions of the experts. Panel members included, Association CEO Shawn Duhamel, Andrew Powell, Field Representative for AFT-MA, Philip Katz, Bargaining Specialist for MTA, Bill Cross, President, Saugus Fire Department and Stephen Dion, Client Relationship Consultant BCBS and John Brouder, former Partner at Boston Benefit Partners.

“We want to thank our PEC designees who attended the forum,” says Association PEC Coordinator Nancy McGovern. “This was the first of its kind forum with our partners, and we plan to have additional sessions in 2024.”

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