GIC Slashes Public Employee Health Benefits… Then Schedules Vote to Reconsider
On January 18, the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to slash the number of health insurance providers available to active and retired public employees, including many MTA members.
Information on upcoming events is available here.
It is critical that public sector workers continue to pressure the GIC and Governor Charlie Baker’s administration until the decision is officially reversed. To that end, MTA and other labor organizations will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday, January 30 at 5PM at the Boston Teachers Union Hall in Dorchester to discuss the GIC’s actions and to advocate for the protection of public employees’ health benefits.
ICYMI, the GIC voted 8-5 (with two abstentions) to eliminate Fallon Health, Tufts Health Plan, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care from the health care offerings made available to public employees enrolled in the GIC, while also taking away three of five supplemental plans available to Medicare beneficiaries.
The details of these changes, which impact some 442,000 individuals and families, were not made available to the public prior to the vote, nor were there opportunities for members of the public to comment on the proposed changes or adequately assess the impacts. State and municipal employees are rightfully concerned about how these sudden and significant changes will affect their health care coverage, including their out-of-pocket costs, premiums and ability to continue to see their current primary care physician.
Less than a week after its decision, however, the GIC announced on Thursday that it will vote on February 1 to reconsider the changes and, provided the reconsideration is approved, hold a second vote to reinstate the three eliminated health plan providers. This development came after several days of extraordinary advocacy from members of the labor movement, elected officials and other proponents of working families who are strongly opposed to the GIC’s vote
H/t to MTA Government Relations for pulling together the information in this post!