Saturday, August 14, 2021

NY Daily News Article on the City's Attack on Retirees' Medicare Benefits

Medicare Bait-and-Switch

Yesterday, August 13, 2021, the New York Daily News printed an opinion piece about the City’s plan to push Medicare eligible retirees out of traditional Medicare into a Medicare Advantage plan that will allow the City to dodge its statutory obligation to pay the cost of health insurance coverage for city retirees covered by Medicare.

The key component of the article is quoted below. It recently dawned on me what the really vicious impact of the MA plan conversion is, but the following quote from the article hits the nail on the head.

Worst of all, the city’s move will harm those least able to protect themselves. City employment data show that white workers are twice as likely as Black workers, and 1.6 times as likely as Hispanic workers, to have the higher incomes that will allow them to pay the extra $2,000 to $5,000 to buy their own Medigap plan and remain in public Medicare. Male workers are 60% more likely than female workers to afford that extra cost.

This will increase the inequities in our health care system already displayed in the past year’s pandemic crisis. Who will suffer? The people who usually suffer: Blacks, Hispanics, women.

How did the City unions agree to hammer the retirees, their former members?

Note: City’s obligation to pay

NYC Admin. Code S.12-126.b

(1) The city will pay the entire cost of health insurance coverage for city employees, city retirees, and their dependents, not to exceed one hundred percent of the full cost of H.I.P.-H.M.O. on a category basis.

Where such health insurance coverage is predicated on the insured's enrollment in the hospital and medical program for the aged and disabled under the Social Security Act, the city will pay the amount set forth in such act under 1839 (a) as added by title XVIII of the 1965 amendment to the Social Security Act;

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