Latest from Mass Retirees

Association Returns to HUB: Boston Meeting Friday, May 29th at 11:00 AM

Mass Retirees - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:00pm

Florian Hall
55 Hallett Street, Dorchester

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State clears way for 5,000 workers to retire early

Mass Retirees - Tue, 05/05/2015 - 5:25pm
Some fear move may hurt services

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

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Gov. Charlie Baker signs state employee retirement incentive program into law

Mass Retirees - Mon, 05/04/2015 - 10:32pm

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

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Legislature Passes Early Retirement Bill

Mass Retirees - Mon, 05/04/2015 - 5:19pm
Up To 5,000 State Workers May Retire

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.

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New Law to Strip Social Security Numbers From Medicare Cards

Mass Retirees - Mon, 04/20/2015 - 6:38am

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

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Agreement Between GIC and U-Mass Medical

Mass Retirees - Tue, 04/07/2015 - 4:51pm

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.

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Eastern Mass. Meeting

Mass Retirees - Fri, 04/03/2015 - 2:15pm

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

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Baker’s early retirement plan could see House vote this week

Mass Retirees - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 9:35pm

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

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Leominster Area Meeting

Mass Retirees - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 3:40pm

Friday, March 27, 2015

11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Double Tree By Hilton (Formerly Four Points Sheraton)
99 Erdman Way
Leominster, MA
Rt. 12, Fitchburg Leominster
Exit 12 off Rt. 2

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Early Retirement Proposal Under Legislative Review

Mass Retirees - Mon, 03/09/2015 - 4:32pm
Baker Plan Limited in Scope

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.

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Blue Cross vastly expands quality-based payment systems

Mass Retirees - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 11:28pm
By Globe Staff  March 05, 2015

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

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GIC INSURANCE PREMIUM COSTS GOING UP

Mass Retirees - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 11:23pm

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.

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Baker Proposes 3% State-Teacher COLA

Mass Retirees - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 6:28pm
FY16 Budget Takes Effect July 1, 2015

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.

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State to offer early retirement deals; layoffs may follow

Mass Retirees - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:30pm
Baker to start by offering enhanced-pension deals, hopes for 4,500 takers

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

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Goldberg brings competitive nature to treasurer role

Mass Retirees - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 12:00am

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.

Read Full Article:  Boston Globe

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CVS CareMark Retained by GIC

Mass Retirees - Fri, 02/20/2015 - 12:55am

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.

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GIC APPROVES 2016 COPAYMENT & DEDUCTIBLE HIKE

Mass Retirees - Tue, 02/17/2015 - 2:43pm

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.

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Association Opposes Increased Copayment & Deductibles

Mass Retirees - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 10:43pm
GIC Holds Annual Public Hearing

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.

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