Dear Retiree Chapter Members:
First, I would like to wish you all a belated Happy New Year. I am sure you all join me in hoping that 2022 will be a better year for all of us than 2021.
We continue to closely follow the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus situation and post news and articles under News & Events and the Retirees page of the MEA Website. The Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is still in effect as well as the tentative April 1, 2022 implementation date. The City has submitted letters to the Judge documenting their efforts to remedy the deficiencies in providing accurate information to retirees, and reaching out to doctors and hospitals to inform them of the City’s plan. The NYC Organization of Retired Public Servants, the organization which sued the City, has responded to the City’s report to the Judge with numerous Affidavits from retirees about their inability to get accurate information.
Late-breaking news occurred on January 30. Attorneys for City requested a hearing with the Judge before February 23to begin transfer of retiree information to Alliance in anticipation of April 1 implementation. The Judge scheduled a hearing on February 7 to review the City’s request. Attorneys for NYC Organization of Retired Public Servants submitted papers objecting and raising the issue of charging retirees who opt out of the MAP plan $191/month. They charge and document numerous instances in which the City indicates it will pay for retirees health care up to the maximum amount charged by the HIP Plan. The GHI Senior Plan premium of $191/month is far below the current HIP Plan maximum, so the City should pay it and not pass it along to retirees. The Judge scheduled a hearing in which he will hear arguments from both sides on February 28. All of these documents are on the Court web page and can be read online here.
I am planning our next Chapter meeting for the week of April 18th. Information will follow as we set up speakers and a firm date. I assume it will be a Zoom webinar.
The Chapter will also be developing a member survey to gauge any information gaps that exist. Our goal is to provide information so that all our retirees can make the best decision for him or herself on whether to join the Medicare Advantage Plus program or opt out. Everyone’s personal health situation is different, so we all need the necessary information to make the best choice. So please be sure to fill out and return the survey form when you receive it.
Some of you may know that two of our chapter officers, Recording Secretary Lisa Yee and Assistant Director for Membership and Recruitment Sam Borkow were elected as MEA officers. Their term of office began January 1. Lisa will serve as Recording Secretary for MEA and Sam will serve as MEA Director at Large. I’m sure you all join me in congratulating them and wishing them well. They are both planning to continue their essential role for the chapter. As long as we continue meetings on Zoom, we will record the chapter meetings so that members who are unable to attend can watch a recording of the meeting. Hopefully we will return to in person meetings at some point.
Our membership continues to grow and as of December 31 we had 616 members. But we still have many MEA members who retire and do not join the Retiree Chapter. So if anyone would be interested in developing activities we could invite new retirees and existing members to and try to increase our membership, I would love to hear from you. I know large get-togethers are still things that people are reluctant to attend. But brainstorming for the future seems worthwhile.
Lastly, the Board has decided that some chapters will elect new officers in 2022 and others will move their election to 2023. Our Chapter has been moved to 2023 which means all our Chapter officers will remain in place for an additional year.
Retiree Chapter Director
Adrienne155 @ gmail.com