Medicare negotiations at an impasse.

At the DC37 Delegate Assembly, Executive Director Henry Garrido announced there’s an impasse in the negotiations between the City and the MLC regarding the proposed Medicare Advantage Group Plan and that it is being forwarded to a Facilitator, Martin Scheinman.

Following, Stu Eber, President of COMRO and Senior Advisor of MEA issued a press statement:

“Without knowing the details of the dispute, COMRO continues to view certain issues as critical for all parties, including the Facilitator, to consider. Some COMRO members have passed a resolution calling for a moratorium until the critical issues are resolved.

In the interim, here are several points we will be sharing with the arbitrator when we have more information.

The following points are critical to maintaining the health and welfare of 200,000 NYC retirees and their 40,000 dependents presently covered by Medicare Part B. Any new contract must explicitly include the following benefits that we already have:

  • Access to all of our current providers at the existing Medicare rates even if they are not part of the vendor’s network and at no extra cost to us.
  • Access to all hospitals currently accepting Medicare. This is particularly relevant to patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Hospital for Special Surgery but applies to all hospitals across the country.
  • No gatekeepers permitted to evaluate our referrals and procedures from our doctors. We do not have these barriers now and we do not want them in the future. Gatekeepers can delay our necessary health care and cause permanent damage and even death.

Several COMRO members are following the lead of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) and have adopted resolutions calling for a moratorium. The PSC Delegate Assembly passed the following resolution 115 to 0 on April 15, 2021:

The DA supports the Retirees’ Chapter call for a moratorium on any agreement between New York City and the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC) to move retiree healthcare coverage from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage and asks that the PSC bring the moratorium call to the MLC.

The NYC Managerial Employees Association Executive Board adopted a similar motion on May 18.”