Thursday, January 25, 2018
The state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted at its last meeting to alter options offered to public employees and retirees who utilize health insurance plans procured by the GIC. The Commission, by an eight to five vote, adopted a motion to eliminate three of the six health plans offered - Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Tufts Health Plan and Fallon Community Health. More than half of the nearly 450,000 retirees and public employees receive coverage from these three providers.
I have expressed several concerns about the manner in which this vote occurred; including the lack of information shared in advance with the public and those who would be impacted. In short, the consequences and implications of such a vote should be better understood before the implementation of any more similar procurement adjustments. To that end, the GIC now anticipates voting to reconsider their decision at their next meeting on Thursday February 1st.
While there are no members of the Legislature that serve on the GIC, the Senate will conduct an oversight hearing at the State House on Wednesday, January 31 at 11 AM. I have shared my concerns with the Governor, Senate President, Chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Chairs of Health Care Financing and Public Service committees. If you are unable to attend the hearing but would like to offer your comments please contact my office at Bruce.Tarr@masenate.gov. You may also contact the GIC directly by using this link: https://www.mass.gov/forms/contact-the-gic