The GIC may reverse course on its decision to slash the number of health insurance companies in its portfolio in half.
Last Thursday the Group Insurance Commission, which administers health insurance to more than 400,000 state, school, and municipal employees, voted to decrease its options from six to three for active employees. GIC leadership said the move would save some $20.8 million.
A recent public records request revealed that although in 2010 the change was made by Mayor Alcombright to discontinue health insurance benefits for board members, City Council members continue to be offered health insurance benefits at a significant expense to the taxpayers of North Adams.
Open Enrollment starts on Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 23, 2018, longer than the Nov. 1-Dec. 15 federal deadline, and is consistent with past Massachusetts Open Enrollment periods. The Health Connector is planning a number of other outreach and enrollment support activities this year that mirrors the Exchange’s past commitment to comprehensive Open Enrollment activities.
John Goerlach worked 20 years in the town's Highway Department so when he retired, part of his health insurance will come from the town's budget.
Goerlach will be paying 15 percent of the premium with the town picking up the rest. Goerlach is now a Selectman, a decade after leaving the town's employment, and he's tasked with managing the finances. Because of conflict of interest laws, he cannot vote to increase the percentage retirees pay for benefits.
Health Connector officials are urging citizens to explore their health insurance options during this enrollment season.
Open enrollment runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. With expected rises in health insurance premiums under the federal Affordable Care Act, it behooves people to look over their plans and update their accounts.
The word from the Health Connector is it's the time to shop for the best plan.
During Open Enrollment, current Health Connector members can shop for new coverage that could be more affordable or better meet their needs, and those without insurance can apply for coverage – often with subsidies making it more affordable.
The Selectmen agreed Tuesday that it may be beneficial to eliminate future elected officials' health insurance to save money.
The issue arose during discussions over the salary review the town is currently undergoing.
Several dozen current and retired employees of the Mount Greylock Regional School District attended last week's School Committee meeting to voice concerns that the district might unilaterally raise the percentage of health care costs borne by retirees.