Preserve Health Insurance Premium Split
Dear MSCA Faculty and Librarians,
Please take one minute to urge your State Representative not to raise health care costs for state workers.
The FY 2017 budget proposal put forward by Governor Baker asks the legislature to raise the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) premium contribution rates for many active state workers and all future retirees from 20 percent to 25 percent. State workers would face a substantial financial impact as a result of this change. We are asking you to urge your State Representative to reject the Governor’s proposal which seeks to balance the budget on the backs of hard-working families.
You can copy and paste the message below or send your own message.
First find your state representative.
Dear Representative NAME,
The FY 2017 budget proposal put forward by Governor Baker asks the legislature to raise the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) premium contribution rates for active state workers hired prior to July 1, 2003 and retired workers who leave the workforce after June 30, 2016 from 20 percent to 25 percent. These state workers and retirees would face a substantial financial impact as a result of this change, and I hope you and fellow legislators will reject the Governor’s proposal which seeks to balance the budget on the backs of hard-working families.
Even without changes to premium contributions, workers who receive their health insurance from the GIC have incurred growing out-of-pocket costs for their care. Plan design changes implemented by the GIC that have raised co-pays and deductibles have resulted in a significant shifting of costs from the employer to employees over the past decade. A review of GIC total plan cost data performed by the Milliman Actuarial firm shows that from 2007-2016, the true share of GIC health care costs paid by employees (premium contributions plus cost-sharing) now averages 37%, up from 28% in 2007 [based on analysis of Tufts Health Plan Navigator and the UniCare State Indemnity Plan Basic, plan designs effective July 1, 2006 and July 1, 2015]. The proposed 25% increase to the premium share would result in cost increases of over $1,300 in FY 2017 for many families in premium costs alone [based on FY 2016 premium rates for UniCare State Indemnity Family Plan].
In a budget proposal that does not raise taxes or fees elsewhere, Governor Baker’s proposal stands out as a notable exception. State workers and retirees face the same fiscal constraints as all other working families in this Commonwealth, and in fact have sacrificed especially greatly over the past decade as a result of the fiscal crisis and years of budget cuts. It is simply not fair to place an undue financial burden on this specific group of workers in an effort to balance the state budget.
I strongly urge you to oppose this proposal by seeing to it that language is included in the House budget that preserves the 20% premium contribution rate for these state employees and retirees.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.