Yesterday, the Group Insurance Commission (GIC) voted to approve the benefit designs of health plans effective July 1, 2018. The recommended benefit designs are based on the feedback received from members over the past several months, and will provide similar or more member-friendly benefit enhancements while also working to control member cost increases.

Highlights of the updated benefits approved yesterday include:


  • Reducing deductibles across regional and limited network plans (Unicare Community Choice, Health New England HMO, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Primary Choice, Tufts Spirit and Fallon Direct) where possible
  • Reducing some medical co-payments for specialists across all plans
  • Reducing costs to access Telehealth services to $15 across all broad and limited network plans
  • Removing the need for patients to obtain pre-authorization for accessing hospice care benefits


The GIC will next vote on health plan product rates and premiums at its February 22 Commission meeting.  The GIC will continue to notify key stakeholders as to plan and rate proposals and will share plan and benefit information prior to the start of its Annual Open Enrollment period, which runs from Wednesday, April 4 to Wednesday, May 2.