On January 18, 2018, the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to drastically restrict health care plan options to both current and retired public employees. The only remaining options for current employees are UniCare, Neighborhood Health Plan, and Health New England, while the options for retirees are even more limited – UniCare or Tufts Health Plan.
This news came as a shock to everyone, thanks to a complete lack of transparency. The GIC didn’t give any advance warning that this vote was even taking place. In fact, the Commissioners themselves did not even receive the proposed changes until the night before the vote.
In a Letter to the GIC sent to the GIC Chair, Ms. Valerie Sullivan, State Representative Robert M. Koczera expressed, “concern over the process the [GIC] employed,” and argued that these proceedings, “should [have] been conducted in the open with an opportunity for public input and with full transparency.” Noting that this decision affects nearly half of all MA public employees, Koczera continues by agreeing with MA Attorney General Maura Healey that the $20 million in savings is, “insufficient to justify the widespread disruption that will be caused,” and concluded by urging the GIC to reconsider its decision.