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New Town Health Insurance Plan Takes Effect Nov. 1

Town set to begin realizing substantial savings on employee, retiree health insurance costs.

Lynnfield workers and retirees will be getting their health insurance under the state's Group Insurance Commission (GIC) on November 1, reported Town Administrator Bill Gustus at Monday night's selectmen's meeting.

Gustus went on to announce an open enrollment period between August 22 and September 9 for the new plan, as well as an information session on Monday, August 29 at Lynnfield Middle School from 1 to 5 p.m. There, benefit participants will be able to speak to representatives from the carriers available under the GIC plan.

"We're still working at it but everything seems to be moving along in good fashion," said Gustus.

To help the town's workers and retirees with their transition to the new system, rate sheets have already been prepared to provide information about co-pays, deductibles and premiums, and a benefit decision guide is going out to them this week in the mail.

Gustus also noted that the state will require documentation for everyone on a policy - marriage certificates, birth certificates, etc. or proof of Medicar Part B payments, depending on one's plan. Those who do not complete the process by September 9 will end up without insurance, he added.

The plan in is expected to produce savings for the policyholders as well as the town, said the town administrator - especially since the town was one of only a handful able to begin the new plan on November 1 instead of January 1. In fact, the savings could end up being well above $250,000.

This process was set in motion earlier this year when rising healthcare costs contributed to a deficit of about $1.5 million for the town. Voters approved a , while the current health insurance savings were expected to produce about $750,000 in savings.

On June 8, town officials and union representatives that set the stage for the new health plan. that were laid out at that time.

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