Action Regarding the GIC
You all probably heard of the changes that Governor Charlie Baker's GIC voted on January 18 concerning health insurance providers. PLEASE take time to read below then please CALL the Governor's office. Calling does make a difference. Can't emphasize enough to take time to call.
Call Governor Baker's office at (617) 725-4005 and express your concerns. You can simply use the one of the following:
A) The process for approving these changes was outrageous and undemocratic. The GIC must reverse its Jan. 18 vote and hold a fair and transparent public hearing process before voting on changes.
B) The GIC should schedule public hearings in more locations and in the evenings, when working men and women can actually attend and let their voices be heard.
C) Beyond the carrier issue, what plan design changes is the GIC now considering, and how will the proposed changes affect participants?
D) The GIC should not move forward until and unless it can explain to participants exactly how they will be affected. For example, what does it mean that “most” members will be able to retain their doctors and networks?
GIC Slashes Public Employee Health Benefits Then Schedules Vote to Reconsider
On January 18, the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to slash the number of health insurance providers available to active and retired public employees, including many MTA members. Specifically, the GIC voted 8-5 (with two abstentions) to eliminate Fallon Health, Tufts Health Plan, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care from the health care offerings made available to public employees enrolled in the GIC, while also taking away three of five supplemental plans available to Medicare beneficiaries. The details of these changes, which impact some 442,000 individuals and families, were not made available to the public prior to the vote, nor were there opportunities for members of the public to comment on the proposed changes or adequately assess the impacts. State and municipal employees are rightfully concerned about how these sudden and significant changes will affect their health care coverage, including their out-of-pocket costs, premiums and ability to continue to see their current primary care physician.
Less than a week after its misguided and reckless decision, however, the GIC announced on Thursday that it will vote on February 1 to reconsider the changes and, provided the reconsideration is approved, hold a second vote to reinstate the three eliminated health plan providers. This development came after several days of extraordinary advocacy from members of the labor movement, elected officials and other proponents of working families who are strongly opposed to the GIC’s vote. It is critical that public sector workers continue to pressure the GIC and Governor Charlie Baker’s administration until the decision is officially reversed. To that end, MTA and other labor organizations will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday, January 30 at 5PM at the Boston Teachers Union Hall in Dorchester to discuss the GIC’s actions and to advocate for the protection of public employees’ health benefits.