The Commission voted unanimously to fully implement the federal Affordable Care Act on its plan renewal year, rather than delaying the provisions that could have been postponed as permitted by the new law. Massachusetts has been a national leader in health care reform. "We did not want to be one of the 'not now' crowd," said GIC Executive Director, Dolores L. Mitchell. "As a national leader, it would not be appropriate for the Commonwealth's own employee benefits plan to delay implementation, even though we could have done so." The benefits of health care reform will accrue to the state even though, as early adopters, the GIC's own budget will go up a modest amount. "I'm going to be pushing our health plans very hard about not simply accepting doctor and hospital rate increases as though they were inevitable," said Dolores Mitchell. "That would be the classic robbing Peter to pay Paul - raising premiums to make up for losing copay revenues. There has got to be more price discipline."
The provisions of national health care reform that will go into effect with the new plan year include:
- Covering adult children up to the age of 26
- Eliminating copays on certain preventive care services
- Expansion of external appeals services
Details of these benefits will be sent to members before the spring annual enrollment period with the coverage effective July 1, 2011.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission