The Senate Committee on Ways and Means will be holding a GIC Oversight Hearing on 1/31 in Gardner Auditorium at the State House.  MNA members will be offering testimony critical of the GIC’s decision to drastically reduce the health plans available to GIC enrollees and their families and asking legislators to support legislation to improve the GIC and reduce costs for workers and retirees:

  • H.2569 “An Act limiting out of pocket health expenses & S.1474 “An Act relative to group insurance costs for certain public retirees,”  would reduce the annual copayment and deductible out-of-pocket maximum for active and retired public employees to $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families. Current GIC policy caps out-of-pocket costs at $5,000 per individual and $10,000 per family. These bills seek to limit costs on those most impacted by cost-shifting – the elderly, those with chronic health conditions, and those with sudden illnesses that require an intense level of care.
  • H.2525 / S.1406 “An act regarding the group insurance commission,” would change the composition of the GIC to add an additional seat for an employee representative and by giving each branch of the legislature a representative on the Commission. As it stands today, employee and retiree representatives on the Commission are far outweighed and regularly outvoted by other members of the Commission. Without a fair voice for employees, the Commission is allowed to operate essentially as a rubber stamp for the Governor’s Administration. While these bills stop short of equalizing the weight of the Commission between employee and management representatives, an increased voice for employees is necessary to help other Commissioners understand the real-life impact of policy changes.
  • H.2568 / S.1407 “An Act establishing fairness in GIC healthcare premiums,” would equalize all state employees at a 20% premium contribution for GIC healthcare plans. Currently, employees hired after July 1, 2003 pay 25% of their health insurance premiums. Since this two-tiered premium system was implemented in 2003 in order to cut health costs, the Commonwealth has continued to pile hundreds of millions of dollars in cost-shifting measures onto the backs of workers. Once again equalizing all state employees at the lower 20% premium contribution is fair, and represents just a small share of the cost that has been shifted onto workers since the change went into effect.

Join us on Wednesday at the State House or contact your State Representative and State Senator (look them up here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator ) and tell them you support these bills and oppose any changes that limit choice or increase costs for GIC enrollees!