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Cooperate on Medicare



To the editor:

Once again, the city has lost its attempt to throw 250, 000 retirees out of our hard earned Medicare plans into an Aetna  for-profit limited access private insurance plan (“Appeals panel rebuffs city's Medicare effort,” May 24). The court's unanimous decision left no doubt about the case.

The Law Department's statement that the city's plan would improve upon retirees’ current plans and save $600 million annually is false. No Medicare Advantage plan offers the guaranteed coverage of Medicare. All MA plans have limited principal provider and hospital networks.

All MA plans have hundreds of procedures requiring prior approvals.

The taxpayers will not save $600 million annually. The funds will move from our Supplemental Medicare coverage to the Health Stabilization Fund. The former is part of the city's general revenues, subject to audits by the comptroller's office audits, while the latter are part of the unions' welfare funds and not subject to the comptroller's scrutiny.

Comptroller Brad Lander, who refused to register the Aetna Medicare Advantage contract, said that it’s time for all parties to come to the table to identify creative and effective solutions. Amen. 

The city is asking leave of the state Court of Appeals to file the appeal rather than address the real issues of restructuring health care benefits that COMRO and others raised three years ago before the original lawsuit. 

Now is the time for the state legislature to pass the Retiree Healthcare Bill and the City Council to form the blue ribbon panel requested two years ago.

Stuart Eber

The writer is president of the Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations (COMRO).


3 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • Hendrix

    Unions don't even represent retirees.

    Illegal anti-union deal sell out of Retirees earned promised healthcare for raises.Shame on them all!

    Retirees need legislation to protect them.

    Wednesday, June 5 Report this


    The (Anti) Unions killed the bill in Albany hurting their own dues paying retired & pre-retired members for now We will be back in force in January!

    Thursday, June 6 Report this


    Shamefully neither the City Council nor Albany will protect medicare retirees rights to earned promised healthcare.

    Saturday, June 8 Report this