Chair-Elect, New Commissioners Outline Their Priorities for Health Plan Procurement

The next year will be an exciting and busy time at the GIC as we embark on a major procurement of all health plan, prescription drug, and behavioral health benefits.  This project will determine benefits, carriers, and rates for the GIC’s most critical benefits effective July 1, 2018. 

Changes at the Commission

The Commission has undergone some changes of late.  Our current Chair, Katherine Baicker, is heading to Illinois as Dean of the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.  She will be turning over the reins after the June Commission meeting to Valerie Sullivan, who was unanimously voted to succeed her. 

The Governor appointed three new Commissioners to replace public members Jean Yang and Ray Campbell along with the Public Safety seat held by Ed Kelly, who has been elected to the position of General Secretary Treasurer for the International Association of Firefighters.  Christine Hayes Clinard, Esq. and Tamara P. Davis fill the public member seats, and Joseph Gentile is the new public safety member.

Chair-elect Valerie Sullivan

The Chair-elect and three new Commissioners shared their thoughts on how the Commission will be weighing its options.  “Growth in health care costs continues to plague all citizens of the Commonwealth, and the Commission needs to balance its dedication to the Commonwealth’s employees and retirees with the need to make changes that adapt to the current reality of increasing costs of health care,” said Chair-elect Valerie Sullivan.  The Chair, an adjunct professor at Bentley University who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 25 years and has helped patients navigate their benefits and other programs to get access to expensive prescriptions, is an advocate of member engagement.  “Education and empowerment of our constituents will be a focus area.  We will also collaborate with the unions to weigh the tradeoffs between rising health care costs and the ability to hire new employees.”

Commissioner Clinard

Commissioner Clinard, who practiced law for 20 years in Oregon in both the public and private sector, including as Associate Counsel for the Portland Trail Blazers, is an advocate for legislation to help control the GIC’s costs.  “Pursuing proposed legislation to institute GIC provider rates will be key in achieving the Commission’s mission,” she says.  “Continuing efforts to exploit the GIC’s leverage in the marketplace and education of members that the most expensive health care is not necessarily synonymous with the highest quality health care are some of the other priorities,” she says.

Commissioner Davis

Commissioner Davis, who leads Davis Board Services, LLC, a governance consulting and board director recruitment company, believes change is inevitable.  “Change is difficult for everyone, but it is the fabric of daily life,” she says.  “All stakeholders (employees, payers, providers and the Commonwealth) have to act and think differently, and in many cases compromise, in order to get the best results to address these evolutionary changes in health care.  The goal of the Commission will be continuous improvement of our products and services without compromising quality.”

Commissioner Gentile

Commissioner Gentile, a City of Springfield Police Officer since 1994, President of IBPO Local 364, and Vice President of NAGE, is looking forward to the challenges ahead.  “I am excited to join the Commission at a time when we are going out to bid on three core benefits,” he says.  “My priorities are to increase choices while simultaneously keeping costs affordable to our members.”

The GIC extends its gratitude to our departing Chair and Commissioners.  We appreciate your service to the Commonwealth’s employees, retirees, and taxpayers.  Welcome Chair-elect Sullivan and Commissioners Clinard, Davis, and Gentile!

This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission .