Just about everything the UFT sends to members on healthcare givebacks is easy to debunk. The only debate seems to be whether the UFT is sending out misinformation or disinformation (intentional bs).
The UFT wants you to lobby the City Council to change Administrative Code 12-126 (City law). Let's try to get down to the basics of what that means.
The current Administrative Code 12-126 says that the City must pay the full cost of heathcare up to the HIP-HMO rate ($919 a month presently) for each municipal employee and retiree.
Proposed Change: Add language to Administrative Code 12-126 so the City can pay less than the HIP-HMO rate of $919 a month for employee and retiree healthcare. The City and Municipal Labor Committee (umbrella group of city worker unions) want to change the administrative code so they can offer all of us a cheaper health plan and force us to pay premiums if we don't want the new, cheaper plan.
Anybody who thinks a cheaper benchmark plan will pay for better healthcare is either on the UFT or another union in the MLC that supports the change payroll or City's Office of Labor Relations payroll or they are a big optimist.
The City-MLC plan seems obvious. Change 12-126 and then find a cut rate healthcare plan and offer it as the premium free healthcare option for active City employees and then make active employees pay for the premium-free healthcare they have today.
Let's say the new cut rate plan costs the City $500 per month.
HIP-HMO is $919 per month. You will have to pay $419 per month for HIP.
GHI-CBP is around $950 per month. You will pay $450 per month to keep GHI.
You would pay substantially more to keep the other more expensive plans that cost more than the HIP-HMO rate.
The City will save a fortune. A portion of the savings will be given back to employees in salary increases.
For the cut rate premium free plan, the City and MLC will say it is just like HIP and GHI. Will it be? Can we get a better plan at a substantially lower price? I am skeptical, very skeptical. Shouldn't they develop the plan and then try it out as a pilot program first before trying to throw out our $918 a month healthcare guarantee?
The City-MLC tried this on retirees until a judge stopped them earlier this year because of 12-126.
The choice would have been to go into Medicare Disadvantage (privatized Mulgrewcare) with its pre-approvals traditional public does not require or a retiree could pay $191 per month per person to stay in the GHI Senior Care they have now premium-free. The City-MLC want to change 12-126 to have a second go at imposing Mulgrewcare or premiums on retirees. This time, it will be administered by Aetna, a for profit company. Are their profits going to come by expanding care? Not likely.
The only way to stop this is for every city worker and retiree to put aside whatever differences we may have, draw a line in the sand and then fight by saying, "Hands off our healthcare." We will have to battle like crazy to keep what we have today.
You can help by calling or emailing your local City Council member and urging them to vote NO on changing Administrative Code 12-126.
Find Council members here.
This piece was updated to show a $919 HIP-HMO rate. We originally had $925.