Calling on State to Implement Program

More local retirees will be participating in the Medicare Buy-In program next year. Through this program retirees, 65 or over and non-Medicare eligible, are enrolled in the federal health insurance program.

Earlier in our May issue, we reported that the Towns of Foxboro, Georgetown, Swansea and Sutton were implementing Medicare Buy-In. They are now being joined by Winchendon, Winchester and Wrentham.

To provide health insurance for their retirees, all of these local governments are participants in MIIA (Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association). Over the years, Mass Retirees has worked with MIIA, promoting Medicare Buy-In that as we see it, is a win-win for the retirees as well as local taxpayers.

While Blue Cross Blue Shield provides the health insurance plans for MIIA participants, it has also been promoting the Buy-In program in other communities, like Methuen and New Bedford, that offer Blues health plans but are not participating in MIIA. “Since Mass Retirees first supported Buy-In seven years ago (2017), some 37 local governments have implemented it.

Most of the local governments have done so through their MIIA participation. And, we expect that with the continued promotion by MIIA and the Blues, more will be recognizing the program’s advantages for all interested parties and signing up.”


“While continuing our efforts at the local level with MIIA, we’ve made the implementation of a state Buy-In program by the GIC (Group Insurance Commission) a top priority,” reports Duhamel. “For the past 4 years, we’ve been actively engaged with the GIC staff on implementing Buy-In for its retirees.”

We note that as part of its 20232024 Legislative Program, the Association has proposed that the GIC implement Medicare Buy-In by July 1, 2024. Our proposal, H2563, filed by Rep. Brad Jones (R-N. Reading) who is the House Minority Leader and longstanding Association supporter, has been heard by the Joint Public Service Committee and awaits further action (see September 2023 Voice).

Duhamel continues, “And, the GIC knows that Mass Retirees will be there to help them in any way we can to get this done. It’s worked for our local retirees and will for those in the GIC.”

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