Feb 23, 2018

Union Solidarity Results in Lower Healthcare Costs for Many

The Group Insurance Commission (GIC) met as scheduled yesterday, February 22nd, to vote on Health plan premiums for FY18.  An outline of the changes unanimously approved by the Commissioners of the GIC can be found below.  Our Labor Commissioners worked incredibly hard over the past several weeks to make great strides for the stakeholders in the GIC.  "The average plan increase for FY18 will be zero, which is rare in the health care market today," states NAGE GIC Commissioner Bobbi Kaplan. "We are very pleased to offer these plans and rates to members for FY18."

NAGE members played a large role in this healthcare victory.  The calls to the legislature forced the GIC to reconsider the decision to eliminate three major health care carriers.  Our Labor commissioners remained firmly against the process used to eliminate the three carriers, and the collective persistence of the commissioners and NAGE members paid off.  

"After the controversy of the January 18th decision to eliminate several health care carriers, we are gratified to see these results," NAGE GIC Commissioner Margaret Thompson commented. "The Labor commissioners were against the way the healthcare decisions were made so quickly and without transparency from the beginning, and this outcome proves that change is possible if we stand in solidarity."  

Check out the article in the Boston Globe for additional information on the insurance premiums.  

Below is the bi-weekly member contribution chart for each plan, based on your contribution rate.  Open enrollment begins April 5th and will continue until May 3rd.  You can find the calendar of the GIC Health Fairs at the bottom of this post.  

The changes for the Broad Network Plans (Unicare Basic w/ CIC, Unicare Plus, Tufts Navigator, Fallon Select and Harvard Independence) range from an increase of 4.9% to a decrease of -3.6%.  




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The changes in Limited Network Plans (Unicare Community Choice, Tufts Spirit, Fallon Direct, HPHC Primary Choice) and the Regional Plans (Health New Engalnd HMO and Neighborhood Health Plan Prime) range from an increase of 5.4% to a decrease of -2.7%.  



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The changes in Medcare Plans are outlined below.



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Employee Assistance Program 
The GIC has also voted to incorporate a new EAP (Employee Assistance Program) provider into each health plan.  The new provider, Optum, will replace Beacon Health effective July 1, 2018.  The EAP is built into your premium, so it is available to all members at no additional cost.  Services available through Optum include:
  • 3 free counseling visits per incident
  • 3 free financial consultations
  • 30-minute free legal consultation + 25% discount on legal fees
  • Referrals to local providers
  • Child Care qualified referrals + Elder Care qualified referrals + Summer Care referrals
  • Pre-natal care assistance
  • Adoption assistance and referrals
  • Identity theft
  • Special needs assistance
  • At-risk and high-risk adolescents program referrals
 




 

The American Labor Movement has consistently demonstrated its devotion to the public interest. It is, and has been, good for all America. - John F. Kennedy
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