The Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission administers group coverage for 45 participating school districts. If your school system is listed, you will have health coverage administered by the Retired Municipal Teachers’ (RMT) Division at the GIC. As a participant, you will have a choice of how you will receive your health care. You will be able to receive coverage under either the state’s indemnity plan (currently Commonwealth Indemnity) or you may wish to participate in a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). In addition to the basic health insurance coverage offered, you will be able to buy a term life insurance policy at minimal cost each month.
At the point of enrollment, you will have the opportunity to enroll for coverage with the RMT. When choosing a plan, you should assess your health care needs and whether you need coverage for a spouse or any dependent children. Although cost is an important consideration, it should not be the determining factor in selecting the coverage you ultimately choose. Accessibility to health care facilities, doctors and prescriptions for medication are all factors that should be carefully weighed when choosing coverage.
If you choose to forego coverage with the RMT at the time of your retirement, you should be aware that, if you wish to enroll in the RMT program at a later date, you will only be able to enroll for coverage during the GIC’s yearly open enrollment period as long as you have maintained at least the minimum life insurance coverage with the RMT. It is very important that you do not experience an unintentional lapse in your coverage.
Costs and method of payment
If you choose to enroll in the RMT program, your school system will assume a portion of your total premium. The MTRS will automatically deduct your premium from your monthly retirement check and forward it to the GIC on your behalf.
RMT coverage of a retired teacher’s spouse after the retiree’s death
Note: When thinking about coverage, you should always consider the needs of your spouse and/or dependent children in the event that you should predecease them.
As long as you were enrolled under the RMT program at the time of your death, your spouse will have the opportunity either to continue his or her coverage or to enroll for health insurance coverage, regardless of the retirement allowance option you choose. If your spouse does not continue coverage with the RMT at the time of your death, he or she may enroll during the annual open enrollment period. Or, if your spouse loses his or her insurance coverage through no fault of their own (for example, the insurance company goes out of business or decides to discontinue coverage for spouses), then he or she may enroll in the RMT at any time. The cost of your spouse’s coverage will be the same percentage of the premium that you were paying. If your spouse is receiving a monthly spousal survivor benefit, his or her premium will be deducted from his or her monthly survivor check. Likewise, if your spouse is not receiving a monthly benefit, he or she will be required to make quarterly payments directly to the GIC. Your spouse will be eligible for coverage until he or she remarries.
When coverage begins
It is very important that you do not have a lapse in your health care coverage. The coverage under the RMT program begins on the first day of the third month following your effective date of retirement. For example, if you retire on June 30th, your coverage under the RMT program will begin on September 1st. You should, therefore, make arrangements with your local benefits coordinator to maintain your coverage during the interim period.
For more information
Contact the Group Insurance Commission at:
Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission, RMT Unit
P.O. Box 8747, Boston, MA 02114
- For general information regarding eligibility and benefits: Ext. 6
- To report spouse’s death and to request an application form for survivor health benefits Ext. 4
Also, be sure to review our information on Medicare.