Saturday, July 10, 2021


 Dear Colleagues,

The PSC invites retirees and in-service members to a meeting on Tuesday, July 13, at 12:30 pm, to discuss the proposed shift in healthcare administration from Medicare to a Medicare Advantage group plan that the NYC Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) announced yesterday. In-service members are also welcome to attend. A zoom link to register follows below.

Through the MLC, retirees from the PSC and other municipal labor unions receive medical benefits, supplemented in some cases, like ours, by additional benefits from the union’s Welfare Fund. The MLC’s vote on the proposal’s approval has been scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, July 14. If approved, implementation would begin January 1, 2022.

The stated purpose of shifting NYC’s 250,000 municipal retirees to Medicare Advantage is to achieve cost-savings for the City while preserving no-premium health care for retirees. However, negotiations between the MLC and the City’s Office of Labor Relations have proceeded without sufficient input from or accountability to those directly affected. Spurred by the activism of our retiree chapter, the PSC called in April 2021 for a moratorium on negotiations until unions and retirees had an opportunity to review and assess any proposed Medicare Advantage plan.

The MLC’s vote on approval is being held just six days after the proposal was made available to leaders of the MLC unions, an inadequate review period. The PSC would like to hear in advance of Wednesday’s vote from interested members of our bargaining unit – current or future retirees – about the proposed Medicare Advantage Plan, a group plan developed by Emblem/GHI/Anthem. We have been asking many questions of the MLC, and we’re sure you will have your own. Information provided by the MLC is available here: Intro, Strategic plan, Comparison. If the MLC approves the proposal, the PSC will schedule a follow-up meeting at which Emblem/GHI/Anthem representatives will be available to respond to questions and concerns.

The PSC has a strong, longstanding record on health benefits. Our Welfare Fund provides the same supplemental benefits for retirees (dental, vision, hearing, and prescription drugs) as for active members. Joining me at Tuesday’s meeting will be former PSC President, Barbara Bowen, former PSC Executive Director, Debbie Bell, and Retiree Chapter Chair, Bill Friedheim. They bring decades of experience on these issues; I hope you can join us.

This meeting is for active or retired members of the PSC bargaining unit only.

In solidarity,

James Davis

PSC President


Anonymous said...

As a retired state worker, I pay about $600 each month for family health insurance. About $140 of this is refunded because my husband is medicare eligible (I'm not yet). We turn around and pay this "refund" to medicare.

A former co-worker told me he paid over $1000 per month for his family plan through the ACA before he started working.

If Medicare is just $140 per month, perhaps on a sliding scale, retirees should pay or have the option to pay for the plan they choose.

waitingforsupport said...

I don't see a zoom link

James Eterno said...

Email me if you are a PSC member and I will send the link. Meeting is exclusively for PSC members.

waitingforsupport said...

Got it!

Anonymous said...

After reviewing the proposed changes of this new insurance plan, there is a cap on out-of-pocket expenses of aprox. $1500 annually (I'm assuming per person). I've been paying for Castrophic Medical Insurance for about 20 years because I wanted supplemental insurance. I tried calling the UFT/NYSUT to ask how this plan will affect my CMI benefits. I couldn't get through so I emailed them. The UFT usually gives me erroneous info. and fabricated lies. I think this plan will void/erode my CMI benefits as well. I payed into CMI to avoid this VERY SITUATION! At least they can't get to my life insurance yet.
I'm angry and pissed off that in our retirement we have to deal with this SH$#.

Anonymous said...

How are cost savings achieved?

The cost savings will only come from fewer choices, poor service resulting from under staffing and other cuts, and cuts in benefits later after the plan is fully implemented.


Anonymous said...

I saw that members who want to keep their current health plan mat do so. It might have some additional costs, but for those that like their current coverage they may keep it.
For others more concerned over finances, this appears to be a comprehensive plan with the same coverage we have now and continuation of no premiums.

Anonymous said...

Seems like the changeover to Medicare Advantage Program was inevitably shoved down every one of the city unions throats —in slow motion—as this was a done deal ever since the 2018 agreement to have millions and millions in savings with healthcare costs. Mulgrew said city healthcare costs are out of control. ( Bernie Sanders keeps saying something similar ) Mulgrew also said this was part of a nationwide trend and this changeover was even better than what the UFT retirees have right now. Time will tell how whether this plan is truly inferior to the current plan. Going forward, will the retirees have confidence and peace of mind? Cost savings have to come from somewhere—but from where? Whatever the case might be, Mulgrew takes ownership along with the other union chiefs

However, this event once again exemplifies the eroding clout of the city labor unions with their power to negotiate in an era where the city and state leadership are run by the so-called union friendly Democrats. By having these negotiations behind closed doors for several months, it also represents a stain on union democracy—as the union memberships are left with little time for discourse.They are really being told they have little or no say. Union leadership simply announce —it’s a done deal and get over it.

So, what will happen next—especially when it comes to the next UFT negotiations with Mayor Adams in 2022. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

This will be temporary Nationwide coverage with Emblem. There will be big headaches and diminishing availability of doctors if you retire out of state. They do not want to pay enough to encourage participation as "In Network" provider's, they do not want to pay for things and require doctor meetings with provider to approve treatment plans. Doctors don't want to deal with this crap, costs them time and patients get billed for consultation fees!
About half of American's work, pay taxes, social security and for their medicare insurance for a lifetime. The other half of Americans pay squat for health insurance, lose no sleep at night over medical bills. Working people are carrying the load for the other half of the country.
Those who have paid for Medicare Insurance should be entitled to receive the benefit they paid for.

Anonymous said...

Strike for universal health care! Between all those union leaders they could probably figure out something pretty serious...

Anonymous said...

In July last summer I started going to out of network providers for mental health services due to the pandemic stresses. I was told that 250 dollars of each session would be covered by Eblem/Beacon Health. Low and behold in October after 2x a week sessions, after not being reimbursed yet for any of the summer therapy sessions, and after being assured through a number of calls to confirm that statement, I was told that I would only be covered 55 dollars per visit starting the last "Friday" and that that cut was retroactive--meaning that the summer 2x a week sessions would only be covered at 55 dollars and not 250 dollars. In the middle of a pandemic when people really need the help!!! After never once before using the benefit!! I think that this is immoral and downright criminal to say the least. I called uft and was told to call the Nyc labor board. no help...

After fighting with Beacon, which was very very stressful and not something that someone needing therapy 2x a week really needs in his/her life, Emblem/Beacon agreed to cover the 250 dollars per session as they had promised through January of 2020.

Now, here I am and I am looking at out of network reimbursements of 55 dollars instead of 250 dollars which it was for the longest time. When I was hunting for an out of network therapist I was told several times this summer, "Oh NY teachers have good insurance."

Well, apparently, not any more!!! I guess it comes down to do we buy groceries or get much needed mental health! What a good time to DRAMATICALLY cut this so-called benefit.

Anonymous said...

Forget about even discussing the changeover to Medicare Advantage. Retirees, it’s a done deal as the unions are powerless.
But here are more important and immediate concerns for all in-service members.

Deblasio just announced that wearing masks will be required for every person—in all NYC public schools in September —unless things change as it gets closer to opening day on September 13. I’m assuming they are currently required for all summer programs.
This is the opposite of what the CDC recommends when schools reopen for the fall term.

Just assuming all the schools will be supplied with thousands and thousands of masks for children that don’t have one or lose them—and any adult that doesn’t comply.

Will all those filtration machines be made available for every classroom as promised—and what happens when they break down?

Also just wondering when vaccinations will be mandated for those that are eligible and will social distancing of at least 3 feet be enforced at all times. I still believe that vaccines are mandated for all adults by the Eva Markowitz Charters when they reopen in August. Do any of those charters share space with any public schools?

Anonymous said...

2:44 Please take the discussion on September opening of school to the proper thread on this blog site. Those of us who paid for Medicare for 40 plus years are entitled to the benefits.

Anonymous said...

At least the CUNY people have spines

waitingforsupport said...