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Mayor Asks For Change to Save Money on Health Insurance

Mayor Scott Galvin said accepting the Massachusetts Health Care Reform local option would allow Woburn to make changes to co-pays, deductibles and tiering.

Mayor Scott Galvin. Photo credit: Patch file photo.
Mayor Scott Galvin. Photo credit: Patch file photo.

Mayor Scott Galvin will ask the Woburn City Council on Tuesday to accept a local option that will allow the City to make changes to the health insurance plan design for city employees without engaging in collective bargaining.

Galvin said the local option will allow Woburn to make changes to co-pays, deductibles and tiering. This will not change employee contributions, which “would still be the subject to traditional bargaining,” said Galvin in a letter to the City Council.

“This the same way that plan design changes are implemented for every employee that works for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” he said.

The Massachusetts Health Care Reform that became law in 2011 “is one of the most beneficial tools afforded to cities and towns in decades, and has achieved substantial savings for communities and has helped preserve essential government jobs and services,” he said.

Gov. Deval Patrick’s office said that more than 260 communities and school districts are now part of the program and have saved more than $237 million on health insurance premiums in one year, according to Galvin.

Galvin estimates Woburn could save more than $1.5 million in the first year if the City Council approves the option.

The mayor will make a presentation to the City Council during Tuesday’s meeting. The City Council will not vote on the matter, but will refer the matter to a committee.

Erin McFague February 03, 2014 at 12:50 PM
Funny how he's taking on new issues when he's left old ones stacked underneath piles of paperwork on his desk. What happened to DeNapolis retirement? Swept under the carpet? Pathetic! Leave health care to Obama. Do your duties sir!
John Newman February 03, 2014 at 09:53 PM
There's an offer on the table in that matter. Whether you agree or disagree with it. So, we let everything else just stop while other things wait for moves by either party. He's trying to be fiscally responsible, but we shouldn't do that I guess. If he were to let premiums and costs get out of control, certain people here would complain about that too. Exactly why politics is a thankless job.
lisa February 03, 2014 at 11:21 PM
John there is no offer on the table for Officer Denapoli and there has not been one on the table since last summer, remember VETO. The only Politics involved are "DIRTY POLITICS" and the only person who is holding it up is the Mayor..fiscal responsibility? or a vindictive Mayor who only cares more about winning, not the life of a Police Officer.
Shannon Sevier February 04, 2014 at 09:06 AM
People who work for the city and except the insurance should be concerned about the Mass Health reform. Its not what it seems and will take away options that you currently have. Like if you have to go to a hospital other than lahey or winchester you may not be able to. If your child needs Childrens Hosp it maybe considered out of your network. Think carefully if it ever gets out of committee. It maybe a money saver for the city but may cost you alot more in the long run.
GMan Extreme February 04, 2014 at 09:58 AM
I think the. Article is about. Health insurance. Not officer denapoli. Or am. I. Wrong?
GMan Extreme February 04, 2014 at 10:26 AM
So can't have. More than one project at. A time? Article says nothing. About denapoli. You are on wrong. Topic. Just my. Opinion.
lisa February 04, 2014 at 10:31 AM
Patrick H, Officer Denapoli is not retired from the City so Im not sure why you think he has a disability retirement, you really should get the facts before you post, its not right to post a lie to make people form an opinion
lisa February 04, 2014 at 10:32 AM
Gman feel free to post away about health insurance
lisa February 04, 2014 at 10:41 AM
He should be getting what every other Police Officer shot in the line of duty received, what the City Council voted him to receive and what he asked for and earned. But according to you he is already retired
lisa February 04, 2014 at 10:42 AM
which part of the Globe article turned you off the recent accident cover up or Johns past form 30 years ago
lisa February 04, 2014 at 12:01 PM
Patrick having multiple bullets shot into your body and causing permanent injury as compared to a sprained knee, theres your formula. Your disrespectful mentality and making a joke out of this Officers injury from a shooting is the what this family has had to deal with for the last 2 years, if it was your family that was not killed in the store that day would your feel the same towards Denapoli
Kate Lyn February 04, 2014 at 10:23 PM
I think the Mayor is trying to save money, that's his job. The majority of people pay 50% of the premium cost for health insurance from their employer, with a high deductible. Welcome to the real world folks...you know, that dreaded private sector!!
Sue L February 04, 2014 at 10:53 PM
Where ever the employer saves on health insurance, the cost increases to the employee in the form of increased co-pays, deductibles, and a smaller network/ larger out of network fees. Don't be fooled- the City may save a bundle but the workers will be paying more out of pocket for even the most basic health care services.
Sue L February 04, 2014 at 11:00 PM
I have always worked in the private sector/ healthcare field, and the employer/employee contributions vary depending on company size, plan, and negotiated rates... I have never worked at a job where my contribution equalled or exceeded my employer's.
Bowza February 06, 2014 at 11:58 AM
Bottom line is, changing the health insurance to a plan that makes you pay more $ if your sick is wrong .the mayor wants to save money , stop spending 7 million on farm land . To save $ by messing with health insurance of city employees is low down dirty .whats next ? The city of Woburn is well off , 30+ million in bank . The law passed to reform insurance was for poor bankrupt city's like Lawrence , the city is fine , this mayor is trying to copy his buddy in Somerville , because he wants to go higher in politics and wants to say I saved the tax payers $$ . If he ever had a real job or ever knew what it was like to live pay check to pay check he would not mess with the most basic benefit to city workers . How would you like to be told you have cancer and you need 7000 to get treatment !! This country is pathetic with health care we are the only ones on the planet that profit off the sick !! Socialize medical works , the politicians are in bed with insurance company's and it's the reason the rest of the world lives 5-6 years longer than we do. If the city was broke and taxes were high and layoffs were coming then fine ,the city taxes are low and they are no where close to not being able to sustain paying for the current healthcare and if we need the $ to run city prove it !! but there is no reason other than one mans obsession with putting his stamp on everything ,
Shannon Sevier February 06, 2014 at 12:12 PM
Well said Bowza!
Janet Levesque February 06, 2014 at 01:36 PM
I work in private sector - nowhere have I ever paid 50% of any premium or copay. After watching the meeting on Tuesday and reading the mayor's unbelievably demeaning and insulting letter about the way five aldermen voted, I think he is a nut. What I got from it and you should watch the meeting, is that he wants to get total control over the healthcare without anyone's input. He said it during the meeting, the city council doesn't get to decide, that would only be me. Wow. THen it turns out that he never went to the unions to talk to them and they've been trying to have a discussion. Make no mistake this is a huge power grab. The people he is talking about are residents too and they will have no voice at all in what happens to them. The people who are the sickest are going to be hit and hard. He could do anything he wants and no one could stop him. No one should have that kind of power anywhere. It is why we have such a mess in DC because everyone is exceeding their power and no one cares enough to stop it!
lisa February 06, 2014 at 03:24 PM
Kudos to the City Council for having the courage to stand up to the Mayor, I watched the meeting and just read his letter (temper tantrum) and I agree that is too much power to give to one man.
Ellie February 06, 2014 at 03:56 PM
Lisa I'm glad you commented on council I watched it too Galvin was furious. But my son was saying it was so wrong. He is on thet his wife too all my post are gone. And if I say anything they say I'm. Partial. When I'm not it affects hundred of workers. And then his piece in paper. He hates to lose. But he is not being fair to the city employees.
Ellie February 06, 2014 at 04:04 PM
Bowza. Great job of telling it like it his. I applaud your guts to speak out. Too much power in wrong hands is dangerous. Great job by the council. The ones who always come to residents defense.
Shannon Sevier February 06, 2014 at 04:43 PM
Ellie ,lisa and Janet the Patch just posted the article about his letter to the Times read that and comment at will. He has alot of nerve
Ellie February 06, 2014 at 07:28 PM
Shannon. I can't find it on patch. I read his comments in last nite s paper. He has sunk pretty low. He has no interest in helping anyone but himself. I talk to a few people today they are furious. Over what he presented to the council. Thank goodness we have gately and the other few to watch out for the city and it's residents.
GMan Extreme February 06, 2014 at 09:27 PM
Boo! Bad. Mayor! Boo! Boo!
Ellie February 06, 2014 at 09:31 PM
Are. You. For real ??
GMan Extreme February 06, 2014 at 10:44 PM
What. Does. That. Even mean?

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