Insurance Benefits

Benefits Coordinator

For answers to your benefits questions, please contact Pam Oppelt, benefits coordinator for Salem State, at 978.542.6030.

The Group Insurance Commission is a quasi-independent state agency governed by a fifteen member Commission appointed by the Governor. It was established by the Legislature in 1955 to provide and administer health insurance and other benefits to the Commonwealth's employees and retirees and their dependents and survivors. 

To contact the Group Insurance Commission directly call 617.727.2310. The following is a list of department extensions:

  • Ext. 1 - Questions on Health and Life Insurance and Prescription Drug Coverage
  • Ext. 2 - Questions on eligibility problems or GIC Coordinator questions
  • Ext. 3 - Questions on  Direct Premium Payments
  • Ext. 4 - Questions on Life Insurance Claims
  • Ext. 5 - Questions on Student Coverage, Handicapped Dependents, or Reduction of Monthly Premiums because of medical leave
  • Ext. 6 - Retirement

Address for Group Insurance Commission

PO Box 8747
19 Staniford Street
Boston, MA 02114-8747
Fax: 617.227.2681

GIC publications
The Group Insurance Commission (GIC) publishes a "GIC Benefit Decision Guide" each year which gives a snapshot of all health plans and other benefits available. Note:  Ignore sections on dental and vision as these do not apply to Salem State employees who receive their dental and vision benefits through their union trust agreements (see section on Dental and Vision). 

The GIC also publishes "For Your Benefit" newsletters which are good sources of new benefit information. To find past issues connect to the following GIC publications. Current issue click here.

 

Eligibility for benefits

Employees must work at least 18.75 hours in a 37.5 hour workweek or 20 hours in a 40 hour workweek and be designated as a 'benefited employee' paid out of the A01 payroll to receive insurance benefits through the Commonwealth.

New Hires

New employees have ten business days from their hire date in which to select their benefits. If the employee will be insuring a spouse or dependents, they will need to provide a copy of their marriage license and copies of birth or adoption paperwork. Employees who do not enroll in basic life, health insurance, optional life insurance, and LTD (long term disability insurance) when first eligible are subject to late enrollment and annual enrollment rules (basic life, optional life and long term disability). There may be a "qualifying event" that allows enrollment for health insurance other than in annual enrollment (see section on qualifying events).

 Change Name or Move

If you change your name or move, notify Human Resources through the completion of a Personal Data Form, GIC Form 1 and dental change form (If APA, MSCA, or Non-Unit). The Personal Data Form does not have to be completed entirely, only the information that has changed as well as putting your complete name and employee ID so that HR can properly identify you.

AFSCME dental notification of change of name or address

Employees in the AFSCME union must notify the Massachusetts Public Employees Fund directly at 800.325.5214.