Latest from Mass Retirees
55 Hallett Street, Dorchester
By Joshua Miller Globe Staff May 05, 2015
Governor Charlie Baker signed an early retirement plan Monday that will soon reduce the state workforce by up to 5,000 employees — a move that is expected to save money but quickly raised worries about an erosion of state services.
Though state lawmakers had expressed some initial skepticism, the House and Senate gave final approval to the proposal hours before the governor signed it. The votes were a victory for Baker and his effort to bridge a daunting state budget shortfall.Read Full Article: Boston Globe
By Shira Schoenberg
May 04, 2015 at 5:15 PM
BOSTON - Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law establishing a retirement incentive for state employees, on the same day the Legislature sent the bill to his desk.
"We're very happy with the Legislature's compromise on this, and we're thrilled that they acted expeditiously to get this done," Baker told reporters at the Statehouse. "I appreciate the fact that it was a complicated piece of legislation to begin with, and we're looking forward to moving forward on the act of actually implementing it."Read Full Article: Mass Live
MAY 4, 2015: House and Senate leaders have quickly resolved differences in competing versions of early retirement legislation passed by the legislature this spring. The compromise bill was sent to Governor Baker this afternoon for his approval, which is expected to come this week.
WASHINGTON — Concerned about the rising prevalence and sophistication of identity theft, most private health insurance companies have abandoned the use of Social Security numbers to identify individuals. The federal government even forbids private insurers to use the numbers on insurance cards when they provide medical or drug benefits under contract with Medicare.Read Full Article: New York Times
Open Enrollment Begins
APRIL 7, 2015: At the proverbial 11th hour, U-Mass Medical Group agreed to a new contract with the state’s Group Insurance Commission and its basic indemnity plan carrier, UniCare.
For months U-Mass Medical had baulked at agreeing to a new UniCare contract, despite repeated attempts by the GIC and UniCare officials to broker a deal. The dispute was reportedly due to a disagreement over reimbursement rates paid to U-Mass. Officials claimed that the rates offered by the GIC through UniCare were too low.
Mass Retirees will hold its annual Somerville, MA meeting on Friday, April 10th. The meeting begins at 11:00 AM and lasts approximately 90 minutes. All members are welcome to bring a guest. Door prizes will be drawn for those in attendance.
Holiday Inn Somerville, 30 Washington St., Somerville, MA
By Joshua Miller
Globe Staff March 23, 2015
In a boost for a key part of Governor Charlie Baker’s budget plan, Speaker Robert A. DeLeo Monday backed a pension-sweetening early retirement program that Baker proposed to help close a gnawing state budget gap.
DeLeo said the House of Representatives intends to vote as soon as this week on the plan, which works to entice thousands of state workers to retire early by offering them a chance to boost their pensions by crediting them with up to five additional years of age or work.Read Full Article: Boston Globe
Friday, March 27, 2015
11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Double Tree By Hilton (Formerly Four Points Sheraton)
99 Erdman Way
Rt. 12, Fitchburg Leominster
Exit 12 off Rt. 2
MARCH 9, 2014: Last week, Governor Charlie Baker proposed the first early retirement incentive (ERI) plan in nearly twelve years as a means to avoid potential layoffs of some 4,500 state executive branch employees.
The Massachusetts health care industry’s traditional system of paying doctors for every office visit, test, and procedure may be nearing its end.Read Full Article: Boston Globe
Governor Proposes Higher Employee Contributions
MARCH 5, 2015: Monthly insurance premiums for the 425,000 enrollees of the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) will increase starting in June.
The increase in monthly premiums is the result of higher medical inflation across nearly all GIC plans. Essentially, the price of medical care and prescription drugs is once again on the rise.
MARCH 4, 2015: Governor Charlie Baker has included a full 3% COLA for retired state employees and teachers in his FY16 budget proposal filed today. The COLA would be applied to a $13,000 base.
COLAs for local, county, regional and district retirees are established locally and administrated by local retirement systems. At the local level the COLA base ranges from $12,000 to $18,000 – an amount determined by the retirement board and local legislative body.
By Joshua Miller Globe Staff March 02, 2015
Facing the prospect of a daunting state budget gap, Governor Charlie Baker will file legislation this week aimed at enticing thousands of state employees to retire early. But if the move does not generate the expected savings, workers will be laid off, a top official said Sunday.Read Full Article: Boston Globe
By Beth Healy
Globe Staff February 24, 2015
Deborah Goldberg settles into a chair by the fireplace in the state treasurer’s office, the first woman to take residence there in a dozen years. She has rearranged the furniture, living-room-style, to be more inviting.
Reduces Costs by $145m Over Three-Years
FEBRUARY 18, 2015: Following an extensive search process, the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to retain CVS CareMark for at least another three-years beginning July 1, 2015. The Rhode Island-based firm has been the pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) for the GIC’s UniCare plans since 2010.
Association Deeply Opposes $60m Cost Shift
FEBRUARY 17, 2015: Over the objections of our Association and union representatives, the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to increase copayments and deductibles for Fiscal Year 2016, beginning July 1, 2015.
While this increase marks the first of its kind in more than five years, Association officials strongly oppose what we view as further cost shifting onto the backs of retirees and employees who utilize their insurance benefits.
February 4, 2015: Association officials were present and offered testimony at the state Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) annual public hearing held today at the State House.