Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

February 27, 2014

Retired teachers to vote on insurance switch

By Bill Kirk

---- — Retired teachers are scheduled to vote next week on a proposal by the town to switch their insurance plans that officials say is projected to save Andover $500,000.

Currently, retired teachers are the only group of employees or former employees who get their health insurance through the state-sponsored GIC (Group Insurance Commission). They must decide at their meeting next month whether to switch to a plan provided by the town.

All of Andover’s other local unions and bargaining groups are covered by plans negotiated by the town with private carriers, including Mass. Interlocal Insurance Association and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Town Manager Buzz Stapczynski reported Monday night that the town is in the process of negotiating new health insurance contracts and recently received three bids, which are being compared.

Meanwhile, packets describing the proposed switch from GIC have been sent to retired teachers. They will take a non-binding vote on the proposal when they meet Wednesday, March 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the Collins Center at Andover High School., Stapczynski said.

“A big turnout is expected,” he said, adding selectmen will vote on the proposal at a meeting after the retirees take their vote.