Union power forces reversal by GIC

Intense pressure applied by members of the MTA and other public-sector unions has forced the Group Insurance Commission to reverse its recent decision to eliminate most of the insurance carriers currently available to active and retired employees.

The GIC voted on Feb. 1 to retain three carriers that it had voted to eliminate for active employees: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Fallon Health and Tufts Health Plan.

“This is what union power is all about,” said MTA President Barbara Madeloni. “We still have work to do to make the GIC’s process more democratic and transparent. And we still must prevent harmful cost-shifting to members as the GIC works on plan designs and rates. But because so many members attended hearings and our rally or made calls to elected officials, we were able to undo a terrible decision that would have compromised the health care of hundreds of thousands of people.”

Some retirees will still need to shift carriers under the GIC’s revised scenario if their existing carrier did not bid to cover the particular insurance pool to which they belong or failed to meet the parameters of the bid.

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Crowds of people, including these Mass State College Association members, were shut out of the GIC public hearing at UMass Lowell on Jan. 25. The room was not big enough to accommodate the large number of people who showed up to protest.
MTA Members in Action