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Health care premiums to increase 3.3 percent unless we push back


Dear Colleague,

The Group Insurance Commission will recommend that the average health insurance premium will rise 3.3% at its February 7 meeting.  Some plans will rise less than this, some more, but the average will be 3.3%. They had a surplus this year (revenue exceeded costs) and their total reserve is now $100 million.  (See the attached powerpoint and below for further details.)  Their listening tour is in Worcester today and was in Boston yesterday (see the attached). If you cannot attend, please send them your thoughts at before February 7. Let them know what your health care needs are before they make decisions that increase your costs. 


Marlene Kim

FSU President

Professor, Economics

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January 18, 2019—The Group Insurance Commission (GIC) outlined benefit design recommendations for FY2020 at its commission meeting on January 17, 2019.


The proposed recommendations shared with the Commission include:


·        Medicare: No benefit changes

·        Non-Medicare: All carriers, products, yearly deductibles remain the same

·        One benefit design change: Two co-pays to incentivize members to choose freestanding facilities for eye procedures and GI endoscopies, which would give members the option to pay less for these services. Co-pays for procedures at hospital outpatient facilities would remain the same for this fiscal year.

·        Provider Tiering: Continuing to migrate from individual to group-based tiering for all specialists, aligning with existing group-based tiering by some GIC carriers.

·        Projected year over year aggregate increase of 3.3%


Additionally, the GIC also voted to approve the selection of a new FSA vendor, Benefit Strategies, following its recent procurement.


Following the Commission meeting, the GIC will seek input from members and stakeholders at these public listening sessions:


·        January 22 in Boston

·        January 23  in Worcester, and

·        January 29 in Springfield.


The Commission will vote on the proposed benefit designs on February 7, 2019 and on the benefit rates on February 28. Following this, the GIC will begin to communicate with members about this year’s Spring Annual Enrollment which will run from April 3 through May 1, 2019.




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