Friday, March 29, 2013

Bill filed to curtail health costs of future retirees from Mass. state & municipal governments

In November 2011 Governor Patrick appointed a Commission to Study Retiree Healthcare and Other Non-Pension Benefits (OPEB), and the Commission submitted a report with recommendations that are meant to ensure the sustainability of the state’s retirement system for future retirees from Mass. state and municipal government.

In January 2013, the Governor submitted HB 59, which seeks to:
  • Increase the minimum years of service to qualify for health insurance benefits from 10 to 20 years;
  • Increase the minimum age for eligibility to 60 (for Group 1), 55 (for Group 2) and 50 (for Group 4).
  • Prorate benefits on a scale from 50% premium contribution after 20 years of employment to the maximum current retiree benefit (e.g., 80% of premium for state retirees) at 30 years;
  • Exempt future ordinary disability retirees from the reform until the 2014 Affordable Care Act exchange Act is available, at which time ordinary disability retirees will have 50% premium contribution for 10-20 years of service (beyond 20 years, prorating will apply);
  • Providing future surviving spouses with a minimum 50% premium contribution;
  • These reforms will not apply to current retirees or to current employees who are within five years of retirement age for their Group and who have completed 20 years of service as of the reform’s effective date; and,
  • To investigate the adoption of an employee group waiver program for prescription drugs.
Governor’s Press release (1/11/2013);  Patrick seeks to curtail retiree health costs (1/10/013); Charts summarizing the changes have been prepared by the State Treasurer and Mass Municipal Association.

Keep up to date thru the website for retired Mass. Public employees