More than 5,000 MTA members took the time to e-mail members of the Group Insurance Commission before its vote this morning on plan design changes affecting state and municipal employees, their dependents and retirees.

Thank you for your activism! In the end, plan design changes that take effect July 1 were provisionally approved by the commission. The changes are significant and include: increasing annual deductibles for employees and those who are not eligible for Medicare; raising office visit co-pays for Medicare members; and freezing the Tufts, Harvard and Fallon health plans so that no new subscribers could enroll in those plans starting July 1, 2017. Other important changes are described here on the GIC website.

Your e-mails caught the attention of the commissioners, however. Several of them referred directly to the important comments and questions they received from MTA members, and a proposal to hold off on voting until after an upcoming public hearing on February 1 came close to passing because of your advocacy.

This is where your continued activism comes in! Members who are available are encouraged to attend the GIC’s February 1 public hearing.  It is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on the sixth floor of the Charles F. Hurley Building, 19 Staniford St., Boston, but at the urging of the commissioners who represent the unions on the GIC, a larger room is being sought.  We’ll let you know when the location is finalized.

This hearing presents an important opportunity for MTA members to speak out against these unfair cost-shifting changes because the commissioners will take a FINAL vote at their next meeting, scheduled for February 9.

We need to do all we can to defeat these unfair changes to health insurance for educators, other public employees and retirees.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

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