Latest from Mass Retirees
NOVEMBER 21, 2015: Members who are insured under the state Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) Option Medicare Extension (OME) plan will have a new prescription drug provider as of January 1, 2016.
As the GIC and our Association have been reporting for nearly a year, prescription coverage under the OME plan is being transferred SilverScript. Under federal law, retirees must be given the opportunity to “Opt Out” of the new drug plan.
Editor's Note: In late November, a budget deal was struck between Congress and President Obama which contains to the Medicare law that prevent the servere increase in Medicare Part B premiums that are spoke of in the following story. Read the latest news on this issue here.
As we continue our lobbying in Washington, D.C. to reform the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), reports indicate that the national public employee unions are now analyzing HR 711. Support of these organizations could prove essential to a bill passing during the current Congressional session.
Congressmen Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Richard Neal (D-MA) filed HR711. The bill now has 40 cosponsors – 23 Republicans and 17 Democrats, including all 9 Massachusetts Congressmen.
November 2015 Voice: With municipal health insurance reform in 2011, there was a spike in the number of Public Employee Committees (PECs) across the Commonwealth. Currently, some 185 Association members are serving as retiree designees on PECs that negotiate with local officials over health insurance plans.
“By far, this is one of the more frequent questions that I’m asked,” says Association Insurance Coordninator Cheryl Stillman. “Here’s what you should know.”
“On this, I’ve heard from members complaining because Medicare refused to cover the cost of skilled nursing and therapy care that they were receiving at home,” reports Stillman. “That’s because Medicare had what they called the ‘Improvement Standard.’
Best Choice for West Springfield Seniors
Tuesday, November 3rd is Election Day in the City of West Springfield. With an open election for mayor, this is an important time for your city.
We are proud to endorse Representative Michael Finn in his campaign for mayor. As your advocates in the State House, we have gotten to know and work closely with Mike during his tenure as your State Representative.
The tentative budget agreement forged by congressional leaders and the Obama administration will ward off a historic spike in Medicare premiums for the coming year, but it will nevertheless require nearly one in three older Americans to pay 17 percent more in monthly premiums for doctors’ visits and other outpatient care.Read Full Article: Washington Post
OCTOBER 27, 2015: The federal government is about to come to the aid of public retirees who have been bracing for a major increase in Medicare Part B premiums for 2016.
Medicare Rates May Increase for Some Retirees
OCTOBER 9, 2015: A flat Consumer Price Index (CPI) means there will be no COLA increase under Social Security for 2016. The CPI-W is the federal standard used to calculate inflation.
Since 1987, a national debate has raged as to whether or not the CPI-W is an accurate gauge for retirees. Many, including our Association, feel a more accurate measure is the CPI-E (Elderly), which looks to inflationary pressures such as healthcare costs that impact retirees on a larger scale.
On Wednesday, October 7th, our Association will hold its first ever Springfield-Area meeting. The meeting begins at 11:00 AM at the Dante Club in West Springfield. All members are invited to attend. Guests are also welcome.
1198 Memorial Ave.
West Springfield, MA
On August 31, approximately 600 former state employees, who retired under the Employee Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP), will be receiving their first pension payment, retroactive to June 30, 2015. According to the ERIP law (Chapter 19, Acts of 2015), the State Retirement Board had 120 days (4 months) from the date of retirement (June 30) to issue pensions to the ERIP retirees.
Public Service Committee Grants Favorable Report
AUGUST 11, 2015: Legislation that would increase the basic life insurance benefit for state retirees and active employees has been released with a favorable report by the Joint Committee on Public Service.
Association officials worked closely with Committee Chairmen Rep. Jamie Murphy (D-Weymouth) and Senator Jim Timilty (D-Walpole) in recent months to advance the legislation forward prior to the start of the FY17 state budget cycle.