For Immediate Release - November 15, 2012

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Appointment of 4 Commissioners to the Group Insurance Commission

BOSTON – November 15, 2012 - The Patrick-Murray Administration announced today that it has appointed four new representatives as Commissioners of the Group Insurance Commission (GIC), the state agency responsible for providing health insurance benefits to almost 400,000 state and certain municipal employees, retirees and their families. 

Joining the Board are Eileen P. McAnneny, Director of Public Policy for Fidelity Investments; Melvin A. Kleckner, Town of Brookline Town Administrator;  Edward A. Kelly, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts; and Timothy P. Sullivan, Ed.D, Vice President of the Massachusetts Teachers Association.

“I am pleased to announce these new Commissioners to the Group Insurance Commission,” said Governor Deval Patrick.  “These individuals provide expertise for the Commonwealth as we begin to navigate through new ways to contain health care costs while maintaining comprehensive benefits for our state and municipal workers and their families.”

“These new Commissioners bring years of experience and expertise in their respective fields,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray.  “Their insight and knowledge will be a valuable asset to the GIC as we work towards implementing health care cost containment while maintaining first-class services for employees and their families.”

“These newly-appointed Commissioners bring a unique and diverse skill set to the GIC that will allow us to continue to pursue new and innovative approaches to providing affordable, quality health care coverage to state and municipal employees,” said Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez.  “I look forward to working with these new Commissioners as we continue working to implement the health care cost containment law.”

“The GIC will be driving major changes in the way health care is paid for over the next few years and we look forward to having new diverse perspectives on the Commission to address these challenges,” said Dolores L. Mitchell, the GIC’s Executive Director. “All of us at the GIC look forward to working with our new Commissioners.”

These new Commissioners join the GIC at a significant time.  In keeping with the Patrick-Murray Administrations commitment to keeping health care costs from rising at an unsustainable level, the GIC recently announced a request for proposal that will help implement key provisions of the Massachusetts health care cost containment legislation.  This RFP seeks to change the way health plans contract with doctors, hospitals and health care providers by encouraging a shift from the old fee-for-service model to a new payment model that emphasizes coordinated care and a focus on primary care.  The GIC estimates this shift will save $1.29 billion over the five year term of the contract by improving the quality of care while seeing no reduction in benefits.

Eileen P. McAnneny fills one of the GIC’s public member seats.  As Director of Public Policy for Fidelity Investments, she tracks and analyzes tax, health care and employment legislation in all fifty states.  Before joining Fidelity, she was the Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and the Associate General Counsel for Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the state’s largest employer trade association.  She held this position for thirteen years establishing the AIM Employer Advisory Group to develop health care policies and helped reach business consensus on payment reform legislation.

“I am honored by my appointment as a Commissioner for the Group Insurance Commission,” said Eileen P. McAnneny.  “I look forward to helping the GIC continue to provide outstanding coverage to employees and their families while addressing the issue of health care costs.”

Melvin A. Kleckner fills one of the two Massachusetts Municipal Association seats on the Commission.  Prior to becoming the Town Administrator of Brookline in 2010, he was the Town Manager for the Town of Winchester for six years and, before that, the Town Administrator for the Town of Belmont for 13 years.  He has held several positions with the Massachusetts Municipal Association and was a Board Member of the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association, which provides health insurance to many municipalities.

“This appointment as a Commissioner for the GIC is truly an honor,” said Melvin A. Kleckner.  “As the Town Administrator for Brookline, I am eager to help the GIC and the Commonwealth’s municipalities ensure that our employees and their families are provided with the best possible health care coverage.”

Edward A. Kelly fills the new municipal public safety seat on the Commission.  He became the President of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts in June of 2011 and at age 38 is the youngest member ever elected to that position.  He is a fourth generation Boston firefighter, working at Tower Ladder 17 in the Back Bay.  He is a U.S. Air Force veteran and serves on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Heroes Memorial.

"Firefighters have unique health insurance needs given the danger we face with every call," said Edward Kelly, new board member and president of the Professional Fire Fighters of MA. "I am honored to be appointed and look forward to bringing my perspective as a public safety official and union member to the table and working with my fellow Board members to ensure that Massachusetts health plans stay competitive and provide the best possible care to their members."

Timothy P. Sullivan, Ed.D. fills the Commission’s Massachusetts Teachers Association seat and has been the Vice President of the MTA since 2010.  Prior to this, he served as President and Vice President of the Brockton Education Association for a period of 16 years.  A middle school reading teacher and computer lab manager, Dr. Sullivan taught in the Brockton Middle School from 1987 to 2006, with one year at a Brockton elementary school.

"As vice president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, I know how valuable the GIC is to state and municipal employees and their families," said Timothy D. Sullivan, Ed.D.  "I am honored by this appointment and am eager to work with my fellow commission members to provide high-quality services to everyone who relies on the GIC for health care."

About the Group Insurance Commission

The GIC was established by the Legislature in 1955 to provide health, life, and other benefits to state

employees, retirees, and their dependents. The GIC also covers housing and redevelopment authorities' personnel, participating municipalities, and retired municipal employees and teachers in certain governmental units.  There are currently over 220,000 members and almost 400,000 lives covered by the GIC.  A seventeen-member commission representing labor, retirees, municipal management, the public interest, the Administration, and expertise in health economics governs the GIC.

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