GIC Insurance Update

SHARE, along with other state employee unions, has been lobbying the State Legislature against increasing the percent of health insurance costs paid by employees and retirees. Many thanks to the SHARE members who emailed or called their state legislators! It looks like we may be successful. We will know for sure when the budget is finalized.

Governor Baker introduced the increases in his budget for the coming year. Under his plan there would be two big changes:
  1. State employees who retire after 6/30/16 would have a 75/25 premium split for retiree health insurance
  2. State employees hired before 6/30/2003 would have a 75/25 premium split for their health insurance (they are currently"grandfathered" at the old 80/20 split) 
So far the House and Senate have rejected these cost-shifting proposals. 

This is good news for us, although it is not yet final because the House and Senate now have to reconcile their two slightly different overall budget proposals. Since they don't disagree about the GIC, we are hopeful that there won't be any changes to that section of the budget. 

We will keep you posted.

FY17 Budget Timeline - GIC Overview
  • February Governor's budget ($1,078,340,881)
    • $27M increase from FY16 budget ($1,051,480,303) 
    • includes increased cost estimate from GIC, partially offset by savings from shifting costs onto employees and retirees:
      • state employees hired before 6/30/2003 - increase premium share from 20% to 25% (est $30M savings)
      • future state retirees - increase premium share from 20% to 25% for anyone retiring after 6/30/16 (est $3M savings)
  • April House Ways and Means budget ($1,111,340,881)
    • no cost shifting 
    • $33M more than Governor's budget
  • April House Budget (1,080,123,761)
    • agrees with HW&M structure: no cost shifting
    • takes into account new, lower cost estimate from GIC (est $31M savings)
  • May Senate Ways and Means budget ($1,080,123,761)
    • no cost shifting
    • very similar to House
  • May Senate budget (1,080,123,761)
    • no change from SW&M
  • June House and Senate Conference Committee
    • have to reconcile the differences between the House budget and Senate budget
    • they don't have differences between them on the GIC
    • we are not completely done and safe until they have a final agreement and Governor Baker signs it
Information summarized from Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center