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HEALTH INSURANCE INCREASES

January 30th, 2017
 TIME SENSITIVE:  GIC Public Hearing – Wednesday, February 1, 2017, from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. in Rabb Hall at the Boston Public Library (700 Boylston Street, Boston).  
Almost every Higher Education unit will be represented, and some K-12 and retired members will also be present.  VP Jeff Seideman and I will both be attending to speak for MCCC.  However, the power to persuade the GIC (Group Insurance Commission) commissioners will come from the number of people who show up.  QUANTITY is important.  Our STORIES are also important.  Our collective voices will carry far more weight than just my and Jeff’s voice.
Please RSVP to me if you will be able to attend in person.  If you cannot attend in person, please send personal stories about how the proposed policy changes will impact you.  Stories are powerful persuaders.  Jeff and I will deliver your stories if you cannot personally appear at the public hearing.
The proposed provisional policy change proposals shift the full burden for increased healthcare costs onto employees…..employers incur no cost.  This is unacceptable!
  1. GIC commissioners have given provisional approval to the following changes for non-Medicare plans:
    1. Increase deductibles from $300 to $500 for individuals and from $900 to $1,000 for families; eliminate the lower deductibles for two-member families.  Deductibles for Fallon Health Direct Care rise to $550 for individual plans ad $1,100 for family plans.
    2. Add a prescription drug deductible of $100 for an individual and $200 for a family.
    3. Freeze enrollment in the Tufts Navigator and Fallon Health Select Care plans and continue to freeze enrollment in the Harvard Pilgrim Independence Plan.
    4. Increase co-pays for visits to primary-care physicians.
  2. We need STORIES and TESTIMONY that reflect these messages:
    1. Cost increases are being unfairly shifted to employees and retirees.
    2. These increases will have a big impact on early-career educators who are at the lower end of pay scales, etc.
    3. Retirees are on fixed incomes.
    4. Increasing out-of-pocket costs may discourage some from seeking care when necessary.
While these changes affect members who currently receive health care benefits, we are ONE union.  As we work to keep health care costs down for full-time and qualified part-time members, we should be working assertively to get equitable healthcare coverage for all part-time and all adjunct members who need health insurance.
Please let your voice be heard–either in person or by sending a story to me or to MTA Consultant Donna Sirutis at:
In solidarity,
Diana
P.S.  For members on the GIC Indemnity Plan, it hasn’t been that long since co-pays for specialist office visits changed from $25/$35/$45 to $30/$60/$90 – double the amount at tier 3!  Premiums have increased and deductibles have increased.  The Commonwealth has an obligation to provide affordable and quality health insurance to public employees, setting the example to be followed by all employers.  If you do not want to see your income further reduced, speak up!  We are already working more for less.
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