GIC – Don’t Back Down Now

February 1, 2018

This morning the GIC voted 12-2 to reconsider the decision that would have led to the elimination of Fallon, Harvard Pilgrim and Tufts as carriers for active employees.  The GIC then voted 14-0 on “Option B” (we will get that posted as soon as we have a copy, we only have blurry screenshots of a TV monitor) that effectively means that the six current carriers will be retained.

The GIC will still need to be voting on plan designs, but the six carriers for July 1, 2018 should be the same.

Thank you all for your work on reversing the GIC’s vote taken on January 25, 2018 that woul have lead to nearly 250,000 GIC enrollees having to change their health insurance carrier during the open enrollment period.

The GIC only has email addresses for about 30,000 of it’s 440,000 enrollees.  We encourage you to update your email and cell number with the GIC by filling out and mailing in the update form.  Prior to their vote on January 25th,m the GIC emailed a survey to the 30,000 email addresses they had on file.

The Group Insurance Commission (GIC) plans to drop three most popular providers.

Roberta Herman, MD, Executive Director, Group Insurance Commission, prepared testimony,  January 31, 2018.

Important upcoming dates:

Date Time Meeting Location
January 29, 2018 12:00 PM GIC Public Hearing Charles Hurley Building, 19 Staniford Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02114
January 30, 2018 2:00 PM GIC Public Hearing State Transportation Building, Transportation Board Room, Second Floor, 10 Park Plaza, Boston
January 30, 2018 4:30 PM Unions Boston Teachers Union Hall, 180 Mount Vernon Street, Dorchester, MA
January 31, 2018 11:30 AM Senate Oversight Statehouse, Gardner Auditorium, 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA
February 1, 2018 8:30 AM GIC Meeting State Transportation Building, Transportation Board Room, Second Floor, 10 Park Plaza, Boston

On January 18, 2018, the GIC took an initial vote to drop Fallon, Harvard Pilgrim and Tufts as vendors effective July 1, 2018.  The vote was 8-5.

Commissioners were given a roughly 24-hour notice of what they would be voting on and received a 61-page PowerPoint presentation.

The change will affect an estimated 250,000 of the 430,000 enrollees.  The three providers targeted to be dropped are the most popular providers.  Furthermore, the three local, non-profit providers are being plans are pushed aside with the intent of having more people enroll in an Indiana-based, for-profit company.

Given the procurement schedule, if these vendor are dropped, they will not be able to be added back until at least 2023.

MTA and other statewide unions, immediately took to organizing their members and jointly to plan on a reversing the course push.  MTA higher education leaders had a 90-minute conference call on Sunday morning, January 21, 2018.

On January 24, 2018, the nine Massachusetts State University Presidents; APA President, Sherry Horeanopoulos; AFSCME Council 93, Local 1067 Executive Director, Frank Moroney, and MSCA President CJ O’Donnell penned a letter to Governor Baker, Senate President Harriette Chandler and House Speaker Robert DeLeo, requesting they urge to Group Insurance Commission (GIC) to reverse their initial decision

The letter goes on to request that the legislature take action to undo this decision if the GIC moves forward with its plan to drop these three vendors.

A similar letter was sent to the GIC itself.

The move has led to significant and vocal opposition.

Please consider attending the January 30, 2018 meeting at 5:00 p.m. at the Boston Teachers Union Hall, 180 Mount Vernon Street, Dorchester, MA with union brothers and sisters, elected officials and others from all across the Commonwealth.  You can register for this meeting here.

On January 31, 2018, the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways & Means (along with Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing and the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Public Service) will be holding an “Oversight hearing relative to the Medical and Behavioral Health Procurement for employee health insurance coverage by the Group Insurance Commission.

The GIC continues to hold public hearings, but for anyone who has attended there has been no hearing, but rather a great deal of snarky push-back.

You can also stay updated by visiting the MTA GIC page.