On September 22, 2014, the New Bedford Public Employee Committee (PEC) voted to move to Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA (BCBSMA) effective January 1, 2015. By moving to BCBSMA the City has reported that the overall savings will be around $2,000,000.
As background, the City had the option of implementing MGL 32B, Sections 21-23. Under this legislation, the City could have bargained to join the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission (GIC), or implement plan changes that duplicate the plan design offered in the GIC. (The GIC plans currently include deductibles, inpatient and outpatient hospital copays and higher office visit copays.)
The new plan designs for New Bedford will go into effect on January 1, 2015. For active and non-Medicare eligible retirees, the plan design changes are less than what would have been included if the City went to a GIC look-alike plan.