The Retirees Chapter membership includes retired NYC Managers as well as Managers who have left City service.
The Retirees Chapter meets twice a year. Meetings provide an opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues, to learn about upcoming changes to City benefits and activities of the MEA. The Chapter provides members an opportunity to stay involved with MEA. Members make up a substantial number of participants in the MEA Volunteer Corps as well as other MEA committees and activities.
Medicare Advantage (July 19) to offer improved benefits to retirees as of Jan. 1, 2022. Plan design comparison chart. Story from The Chief by Richard Steier. Article can be found here.
Unions approve $22.5M deal to privatize retired city workers’ insurance. (July 15). The Municipal Labor Committee, a group that represents retired city workers, voted Wednesday to shift 254,000 retirees to a Medicare Advantage insurance plan in an effort to help the city cut its ballooning health care costs. Story from Crain’s Business by Maya Kaufman. Article can be found here.
Privatized Medicare Advantage for Retirees. (July 14) The Municipal Labor Committee overwhelmingly approved a transition from the city’s Medicare program for retired employees and their beneficiaries to a privately managed plan that is expected to upgrade benefits in key areas while saving the city $500 million annually in health-care costs. Story from The Chief by Richard Steier. July 14. Article can be found here.
Letter of Action from COMRO regarding MLC Medicare can be found here. (June 9)
New York City Retirees Fight to Defend Their Medicare Benefits by Merry Tucker. (June 3)
New York City’s 250,000 retired municipal workers are facing the conversion of our traditional Medicare coverage to a privately managed Medicare Advantage plan.
It turns out that negotiations to achieve this change have been going on—in secret—for three years. The bargaining agent is the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC), which includes nearly 100 city unions. For the full article on LaborNotes, click here.
Call To Action (May 18) The NYC Managerial Employees Association supports the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) 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.
Any reduction in services or increase in cost is unacceptable. Any plan approved by the City and MLC must ensure that it allows retirees to retain our current doctors and have access to any Medicare doctor at no additional cost to us and without requiring prior approval by the plan.
Retired City Workers Recoil at Coming Cost-Saving Medicare Shift by Sam Mellins, on The City. updated April 23
Nearly 250,000 retired New York City employees and their spouses could have their health insurance changed to “Medicare Advantage” plans managed by private insurers as soon as July 1, New York Focus has learned. Retirees, who are pushing to delay the switch, say they are worried that a switch away from their current Medicare plan could lead to dramatically higher out-of-pocket costs and a smaller network of providers. For full article on The City, click here.
Letter of response from OLR regarding MLC Medicare can be found here. (March 31)
Notice to our MEA Retirees Chapter
potential Medicare coverage change
updated March 23
Stu Eber, President of Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations of New York City (COMRO), along with the officers of COMRO, recently sent an open letter to Mayor de Blasio and the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC).
The letter addressed concerns over the City’s current negotiation with MLC to shift medical coverage for retirees on Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan. The goal is to lower the City’s medical insurance costs for 200,000 retired employees and avoid layoffs for in service employees. The understanding is that an RFP was issued, and several providers responded. The City is now negotiating with two of them, Aetna and Emblem Health, and the plan is to select one provider by the end of March. The contract would go into effect on July 1, beginning of the City’s fiscal year.
What we know at the moment:
- can stay with your current doctor, if providers accept the new plan
- new insurance cards and numbers will be provided to those currently on Medicare
- unsure of coverage changes, if any
As soon as we receive information about the new provider and how the program will work, we will set up a Zoom meeting with members of the Retiree Chapter as well as post information on MEA website Retirees page.
LETTER FROM COMRO
Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations of New York City
An Open Letter to Mayor de Blasio and the Municipal Labor Committee:
The Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations (COMRO) has learned that you are in the process of awarding a highly lucrative contract to a major health insurance company to take over administering health insurance for over 200,000 Medicare eligible retirees effective this July 1. You released an RFP and have eliminated two of the four responders. Your technical committee is evaluating the two finalists and will shortly send their recommendations to you for a final vote.
Nowhere in this process have you consulted with the 200,000 people and their families to determine how it will help or harm us. Medicare Part B works very well for most of us. We contributed to Medicare during our years of employment with the tacit understanding that we will have the hard-earned entitlement when we turned 65. Now we are dependent on the kindness of strangers to maintain our health and wellbeing without additional cost. We are duly concerned that these types of managed care programs have a history of making it difficult to choose doctors and specialists by introducing bureaucratic hurdles.
The lack of transparency in your rush to change this program is both insulting and frightening to those of us who have collectively worked millions of years serving the people of New York City. How can we trust our very health to a back-room deal based on a dubious assumption of cost avoidance?
Before this contract is awarded, you must include actual Part B recipients in the evaluation process to ensure any change in Medicare Part B will not harm us.
Stuart Eber, President
George Altomare, First Vice-Chair
Edward Hysyk, Second Vice-Chair
Eileen Moran, Secretary
March for Medicare
July 24. This is a national movement and organized by M4M4ALL.
Meeting location will be outside Washington Square Park at Washington Place & Washington Square East beginning at 11AM (Washington Place between Washington Square East and Broadway).
Marching to commence at noon! If you are unable to march, you may join the group at City Hall Park at 12:30PM. The rally will begin at approximately 1PM.
Standing in solidarity with those marching in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle, and across the country!
Save The Date | Fall 2021
The Municipal Labor Committee and the City were unable to meet their July 1 implementation date for the Medicare Advantage Group Plan. Therefore, we are postponing our Retirees Chapter transition information meeting until the Fall – if and when a contract has been approved and registered.
June 30 @ 12 Noon
The Cross-Union Retirees will be holding an rally to protest the privatization of Medicare. The rally will begin at the steps of the National Museum of the American Indian by the Whitehall St/South Ferry train stop, 1 Bowling Green.
There will be a brief intro. Then group will take a “Tour” past the UFT, PSC, OLR, and end up at City Hall. There will be short speeches at each location from different union reps.
For more information, contact the organizers directly at: retireeadvocate at gmail.com
Forum: Don’t Let New York City Take Away Your Medicare
June 17 @ 7:00PM
This forum will examine the City’s plan for its retirees and contrast it with what will be possible with the New York Health Act.
Hosted by: Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). Contact PNHP directly with any inquiries. Registration is available on the PNHP website (closed).
May 5 @ 2PM
Chapter Meeting via Zoom
Speakers on topics of particular interest to retirees are invited. Previous chapter events included: annual luncheon, projects on the Volunteer Corps, participation with survey on Healthplex dental provider in order to negotiate for changes with the City, and participation with survey for advanced educational opportunities and negotiation with CUNY for new scholarship programs for MEA members.
NYC Health Benefits Program (HBP) for Retirees website, of the NYC Office of Labor Relations provides information for:
- Medicare Part B
- Choosing a Plan / Plan Coverage
- Enrollment / Plan Comparisons
- Contact the HBP
This is the link for the NYC Health Benefit Plan Program.
May 18, 2021 (update): IRMAA application is available on the OLR website, via this link. However, because staff will be returning on a very limited basis in and have a lot of unopened mail they will need to get through, we recommend you wait to submit your IRMAA application. IRMAA reimbursement is usually distributed in October.
Be sure to have all your documents ready by using the check list below:
- IRMMA application
- SSA Notice of Medicare Part B premium award letter
- this form can also be used for 2018 and 2019 reimbursements
Use this link to submit your documents.
April 14, 2021 (update): standard reimbursement for Medicare Part B of $109.00/month will be issued sometime during the Month of April. If you receive your pension via direct deposit, you will see a deposit on your bank statement. If you receive your pension via paper check, you will receive your Medicare Part B reimbursement via paper check. Visit the OLR website at nyc.gov/olr if you have any questions. The office is still closed.
The Management Benefits Fund page provides information about the supplemental benefits to non-unionized personnel of the City of New York, which includes all managerial, confidential, and original jurisdiction employees and retirees. Your membership in the Management Benefits Fund (“Fund”) entitles you and your eligible dependents access to various MBF Benefits Programs. All MBF benefits, with the exception of Group Universal Life Insurance, are fully paid for the Fund.
This is the link to the Management Benefit Fund (MBF).
Minutes from the October 2020 can be downloaded here. RetireeChpMinutes_Oct2020
RETIREES CHAPTER MEETING
OCTOBER 13, 2020
MINUTES (VIA ZOOM)
The meeting commenced at 2:00 PM. The thirty-two (32) ZOOM participants were invited to briefly introduce themselves. The Minutes of the May 20, 2019 Meeting were adopted as presented without any changes.
Election of Chapter Officers
Stu Eber, chapter member and former president of the MEA, conducted the election. The current officers were nominated unopposed and elected.
Chapter Director – Adrienne Leaf
Assistant Chapter Director for Membership and Recruitment – Sam Borkow
Assistant Chapter Director for Programs – Candi Carcana
Recording Secretary – Lisa Yee
MEA Legal Services Benefit Program – Stuart Salles, Counsel
Stu Salles explained the benefits of the MEA’s Legal Services Benefit Program, available to active and retired MEA members, their spouses and domestic partners, their parents and their dependent children. The program, created through the efforts of late MEA Retirees member, Joel Fishelson, offers a free ½ hour consultation (conducted virtually during the pandemic) on non-job related legal matters. Among the areas covered are landlord-tenant and other real estate matters, estate planning, matrimonial and custody issues, and consumer disputes. Charges for additional legal work are adjusted for MEA members. Only dues paying members are eligible for this benefit and should contact the MEA office to schedule an appointment with legal counsel. Although the program does not cover out of state matters, counsel can refer the member to an out of state attorney, usually at no charge for the initial consultation.
President’s Report – Shelly Shulman
Shelly reported on the MEA’s statement objecting to Mayor DeBlasio’s five day furlough of managers and non-unionized employees. https://nycmea.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Managerial-Furloughs-NYCMEA-10.01.2020-WEB.pdf
The MEA’s position was supported in an editorial in The Chief. Shelly pointed out that many of these managers work as first responders during the coronavirus pandemic, citing as an example the Health and Hospitals Corporation managers at Elmhurst Hospital. Instead, the MEA supports early retirement incentives and, if fiscal necessity demands, across the board layoffs.
The MEA is still working to try to restore the two (2) days of annual leave taken from managers to fund the Mayor’s initiative for Paid Parental Leave, following the loss of our appeal in the courts. The PPL was imposed by the Mayor unilaterally over City Council opposition, and equity raises for managers were also deferred to pay for the program.
There are two (2) pension bills pending in the State legislature. The MEA is monitoring them.
Linda Barnes, the MEA Executive Director, will be retiring in December. Shelly congratulated her and thanked her for her dedication to and advocacy on behalf of City managers.
The strength of the MEA lies with its members. Recruitment is essential, as managerial positions are converted to civil service positions, resulting in a loss of MEA members. Warren Lewis, the MEA representative to the Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations, commented that among the COMRO members, the MEA’s membership is smaller than DC37 and UFT, which have the most members.
Chapter Director’s Report – Adrienne Leaf
Adrienne reported that the Chapter’s membership increased from 538 in 2018 to 559 currently, due in large part to the efforts of Sam Borkow, our Assistant Chapter Director for Membership. The MEA Retirees page on the website is being updated. Medicare Part B IRMAA applications for 2019 are available on the OLR website, and IRMAA reimbursements will start to be issued in October. Applications must be uploaded on the website. The animated video on the website is helpful in explaining the process.
Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations (COMRO) Report – Warren Lewis
Warren reported that the guest speaker at COMRO’s September meeting spoke on climate change and the environment, and about the state coalition, of which COMRO is a member. COMRO’s October meeting will be held tomorrow and will feature Vinnie Alvarez of the Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
Toastmasters – Gail Proto, TIP Club Chair
Gail invited everyone to the next Toastmasters Open House on October 27 at 7:00 PM on ZOOM. Information is available at https://tipclub.toastmastersclubs.org/. MEA pays for the first six (6) months of membership for any MEA member wishing to join the club.
A suggestion was made that our chapter conduct small group ZOOMs to get to know each other, foster participation, and explore interests. It was also suggested that we might record our chapter ZOOM meetings and make them available on our webpage.
There being no additional business, a motion to adjourn was made and seconded with all in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 PM.
Chapter Recording Secretary
Meet your Retirees Chapter Team
Adrienne A. Leaf