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NEW: Holden Retirees Score Enhanced Dental Benefits

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

 

flickr/shino

Retired town employees in Holden will be able to take advantage of an enhanced dental benefit program from the state's Group Insurance Commission (GIC) starting next summer.

The GIC voted last week to improve benefits effective July 1, 2013, for the approximately 20,000 state retirees who participate in the GIC Retiree Dental Program. The annual maximum benefit will increase from $1,000 to $1,250 per covered member. Reimbursements to providers for common procedures, such as periodontal maintenance and a two surface amalgam will increase, translating into lower out-of-pocket costs for more than half of members. For the first time, dental implants will be covered. Accompanying these benefit enhancements will be a modest premium increase of 3.4% and coverage frequency changes to match industry standards for certain preventive services and dental restoration services, such as crown and bridge replacements.

Jacquelyn Kelly, acting town manager in Holden, said the town joined the GIC July 1 of this year after several retirees indicated their interest in buying the insurance. According to Kelly, the retiree pays the whole amount of the premium, so the town does not pay a portion of it as they would with a retiree's health insurance.

“The GIC Retiree Dental Program is wildly popular with state retirees and we are pleased to offer retirees, who often have fixed incomes, with better benefits,” said Dolores L. Mitchell, the GIC’s Executive Director. “Many of the enhancements that will go into effect in July align with those enjoyed by active employees,” she continued.

As a result of a Fiscal Year 2013 provision, municipalities that offer their employees and retirees health insurance through the GIC, and that do not offer another retiree dental plan, can now opt into the GIC Retiree Dental Plan. The notification deadline for July 1, 2013, is December 1, 2012. Each December 1 of subsequent years, participating municipalities may opt into the program for the following July 1 effective date with the term concurrent with the city or town’s GIC health insurance. To date, six of the GIC’s 43 municipalities have opted into the program for July 1, the cities of Peabody and Pittsfield and the towns of Holden, Millis, Saugus and Sudbury.

GIC Retirees will receive additional details about the new benefit enhancements prior to annual enrollment, which begins April 10 and runs through May 8, 2013. 

 

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