When NYC Municipal government employee retirees turn 65, Medicare becomes the primary medical insurer. We hear from multiple sources that there are negotiations taking place between NYC and the Municipal Labor Committee, the umbrella group of city government employee unions that negotiates our health benefits, to change retiree healthcare for city retirees.
According to reports, the MLC and City are closing in on a deal that would force Medicare retirees into a Medicare Advantage plan or something similar for their part B (doctors office visits) expenses. That would limit medical choices including quite possibly choice of doctors.
The Retiree Advocate, a group of independent retirees, has a Delegate Assembly resolution to have transparency on this subject (see below).
The Professional Staff Congress (the PSC CUNY union that I also belong to) had a retiree chapter meeting on Zoom. We were informed retiree PSC meetings normally attract 50 people. Last week they had 300 on the Zoom. Retirees are concerned. There is a Change.org petition on this issue.
We will keep you updated when we have more information.
There is a “Preserve Medicare Part B for NYC Retirees” petition that someone in COMRO started and is gathering lots of signatures:
The UFT Retiree Advocate DA resolution:
Resolution for Transparency in Health Care Negotiations With New York City, put forward by Retiree Advocates/UFT, on behalf of all UFT retirees and in-service members.
Whereas, Retiree Advocates/UFT is an umbrella group of concerned activists within the UFT Retired Teachers Chapter; and
Whereas, the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) is an umbrella group comprised of representatives of NYC's nearly 100 municipal labor unions, including the UFT; and
Whereas the MLC negotiates health care benefits with New York City on behalf of its rank-and-file members; and
Whereas, the MLC is tasked with finding cost savings for the city - to the tune of $1.1 billion during the current negotiation period (2018-2021) - including $600 Million in fiscal year 2021 alone; and
Whereas, the effects of those cost savings affect the health and welfare of 70,000+ UFT retirees as well as the UFT's 130,000+ in-service members; and
Whereas, the MLC is currently engaged in negotiations that may change the quality and amount of Medicare Part B reimbursements to UFT retirees (or eliminate them completely); and
Whereas, current negotiations between the MLC and the city threaten to replace original Medicare with a Medicare Advantage plan; and
Whereas, Medicare Advantage plans limit their members to use only doctors and hospitals in their network; and
Whereas, the MLC's negotiations occur behind closed doors, without transparency to UFT membership; therefore, be it
RESOLVED that UFT leadership will regularly report on MLC negotiations to its members, (both in-service and retired, at DAs and RTC general meetings); and be it further
RESOLVED that UFT leadership will keep its members apprised of proposed changes in Medicare Part B coverage, particularly changes that may diminish the quality, limit the quantity, and increase the individual costs of health care coverage to its members; and be it further
RESOLVED that UFT Leadership request a moratorium be placed on a final decision regarding proposed changes to Medicare part B until such time that the membership is apprised of all the details involved with any changes, a full discussion has occurred, and input has been received from membership.