The Group Insurance Commission this month voted for a 1 percent increase to state health insurance premiums for fiscal year 2015, the lowest rate increase in more than 10 years.
NAGE National Vice President Margaret Thompson, who serves on the Group Insurance Commission said, "Containing health care costs for our members and all state employees is obviously a huge priority. Keeping the rate increase to just 1 percent in the turbulent times we're facing in health care feels like a great victory. I'm proud that NAGE had a role in keeping costs down."
Thompson serves on the commission with NAGE attorney Richard Waring. NAGE is the only labor union to have two representatives on the GIC.
Waring said, “With this small increase, the GIC rate increases continue to be lower than the trend of employers across the country. Those organizations are predicted to raise rates by more than 5 percent in 2015. The GIC works very hard behind the scenes to try to keep health care costs for state employees as low as possible."
For FY2015, the GIC's carriers include: Fallon Health, Harvard Pilgrim health Care, Health New England, Neighborhood Health Plan, Tufts Health Plan, and UniCare. ANNUAL ENROLLMENT, which takes place APRIL 9 through MAY 7, gives state employees the opportunity to review these plans and enroll in or change plans, with changes taking effect July 1, 2014. (As a reminder: If you like the plan you're in, you do not need to take any action during the annual enrollment period.)
During the annual enrollment period, the GIC has scheduled health fairs throughout the state so that employees have the opportunity to review their current benefits and explore benefit options.
The Group Insurance Commission is a quasi-independent state agency governed by a seventeen-member Commission appointed by the Governor. The GIC was established by the Legislature in 1955 to provide and administer health insurance and other benefits to the Commonwealth's employees and retirees, and their dependents and survivors.