To GIC HR/CMS, UMass and Offline Coordinators on behalf of Andrew Stern, the GIC’s General Counsel:
Apparently, there have been a number of insurance agents/brokers attempting to solicit business from state and municipal employees. This presents a number of issues that have not been directly addressed and which I want to bring to your attention. First, as you know pursuant to 805 CMR 5.02(2) prohibit anyone from offering insurance products competing with those offered by the GIC. Specifically, our regulations state:
Health Plans, insurance carriers, agents, brokers or representatives are prohibited from advertising to or soliciting any benefit plans or programs to groups for whom the Commission is the exclusive sponsor. Entities with Commission benefits must offer to their employees, retirees, and survivors all such benefits for which their Insureds are eligible, and may not offer competing benefits, except where expressly authorized in statute.
Earlier we were asked whether universal life was a competing product. We responded that at this time we did not consider it a competing product. We may revise this in the future after we determine whether such product offerings have a negative impact on our life product.
Second. The mere fact that a product does not compete with a GIC benefit, does not mean that it is proper for an agent or broker to be allowed access to your workplace. We remind you that there are state ethics concerns in allowing vendors to solicit your employees. You should check with your General or Town Counsel regarding this issue.
Third. In the past insurance brokers or agents who wanted to sell policies to state workers have sought payroll deductions for these policies. This is generally prohibited under state law unless it is a program offered by a Union.
Please note that the GIC does not “endorse” any benefit offerings other than those it offers, nor does it give permission for anyone to solicit employees. We have only responded as to whether a particular type of benefit competes with our benefit offerings.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission.