Retirees: Action Needed on Potential Changes to Healthcare Contributions

At Monday’s Chapter 1 meeting, SEA/SEIU Local 1984 Director John Amrol told Chapter 1 members that the state’s Department of Administrative Services was set to propose changes to close an estimated $10 million shortfall.

All retirees are strongly encouraged to contact members of the Fiscal Committee, which will consider the proposed changes, before that committee meets tomorrow (Friday). If possible, please attend the meeting.

Here is more information about the shortfall, what it means for you and what you can do:

Where the shortfall came from: The Department of Administrative Services recently recalculated the retirees’ health care projections and has estimated a potential $10 million shortfall in the budget, due in large part to the explosive growth in prescription drug prices. As with all agencies, DAS is not permitted to expend more than what has been budgeted and will be proposing changes to the under-65 and over-65 retiree health plan to the Fiscal Committee when it meets tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 25).

What it means for you: There is potential for increased out-of-pocket costs by raising the premiums and deductibles for office visits and prescription medication. This could potentially mean a $500 deductible for Part A, a large hike in mail-order prescription co-pays, plus a 15 percent increase in premium contributions for under-65 retirees and a $15 a month premium for over-65 retirees.

What you need to do: If you haven’t already done so, contact or visit the members of the Fiscal Committee before Friday’s meeting.You can find contact information for all members of the committee as well as talking points to help start your conversation here.

You can also attend the Fiscal Committee meeting Friday at 10 a.m. in Rooms 210-211 of the Legislative Office Building on State Street, behind the State House.

If you know state retirees who don’t use email, please make sure they receive this information. If you have questions, you can contact Jay Ward at 271-3411, ext. 110, or jward@seiu1984.org.

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