Governor Baker's latest budget proposal includes changes that will affect State employees--including SHARE members at UMMS--by requiring employees to increase their Health Insurance contribution. We ask you to urge your State Representative to reject this unfair cost-shifting. According to the Massachusetts AFL-CIO Action Network:
The FY 2017 budget proposal put forward by Governor Baker asks the legislature to raise the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) premium contribution rates for active state workers hired prior to July 1, 2003 and retired workers who leave the workforce after June 30, 2016 from 20 percent to 25 percent. State workers would face a substantial financial impact as a result of this change.
When a similar threat was made to insurance rates last year, SHARE members lobbied on Beacon Hill to defend against the bait-and-switch for longer-service employees. SHARE believes that if you put in your years to the State, you should pay the same percentage of your health insurance in retirement as when you were working. This issue affects all SHARE members at UMMS: if we allow lawmakers to go back on this deal made in 2003, it sets a bad precedent, and could weaken all agreements already negotiated with the state.
Thank you for participating by using this link. You just need to enter your name, e-mail, home address and a customizable letter template will pop-up, addressed to your own local lawmakers. (See the full text below.) If you have any questions, you can contact the SHARE union at 508-929-4020 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear [your local Representative will be automatically addressed here],
The FY 2017 budget proposal put forward by Governor Baker asks the legislature to raise the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) premium contribution rates for active state workers hired prior to July 1, 2003 and retired workers who leave the workforce after June 30, 2016 from 20 percent to 25 percent. State workers would face a substantial financial impact as a result of this change, and I hope you and fellow legislators will reject the Governor’s proposal which seeks to balance the budget on the backs of hard-working families.
Even without changes to premium contributions, workers who receive their health insurance from the GIC have been facing growing out-of-pocket costs for their care. Plan design changes implemented by the Group Insurance Commission that have raised co-pays and deductibles have resulted in a significant shifting of costs from employer to employee over the past decade. A review of GIC total plan cost data performed by the Milliman Actuarial firm shows that from 2007 – 2016, the true share of GIC health care costs paid by employees (premium contributions plus cost-sharing) now averages 37%, up from a rate of 28% in 2007. An additional 25% increase to the premium share would result in cost increases of over $1,300 in FY 2017 for many families in premium costs alone.
In a budget proposal that does not raise taxes or fees elsewhere, this proposal from Governor Baker stands out as a notable exception. State workers and retirees face the same fiscal constraints as all other working families in this Commonwealth, and in fact have sacrificed especially greatly over the past decade as a result of the fiscal crisis and years of budget cuts. It is simply not fair to place an undue financial burden on this specific group of workers in an effort to balance the state budget.
I strongly urge you to oppose this proposal. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
 Based on analysis of Tufts HealthPlan Navigator and the Unicare State Indemnity Plan Basic, plan designs effective July 1, 2006 and July 1, 2015.
 Based on FY 2016 premium rates for UniCare State Indemnity Family Plan