New York City, in an effort to save money on its employee benefits, is negotiating with the City labor unions to move its retirees and their family members from public Medicare to a private Medicare Advantage plan. They did not consult, or even inform, the 250,000 retirees and their families before adopting this policy change, which will require them to accept a private Medicare Advantage Plan with its limited choice of doctors and hospitals, as well as its co-pays and requirements for prior insurer approval of many treatments. Medicare Advantage plans are a good deal for healthy seniors, but they can become expensive and restrictive with limited options when serious illness strikes.
Both the Mayor and the City Council have previously declared their support for the NY Health Act, which would create a publicly-funded health care system and save the City billions of dollars. This progressive legislation which, for the first time, has majority support in both NY State Senate and Assembly, would provide all New Yorkers, and those who work full-time in New York, with more comprehensive and affordable health care than any now enjoy. It would expand far beyond what Medicare now covers including hearing, vision, dental, and long-term care. By eliminating the expensive private insurance middleman, it would save New York State (including NYC) billions and contain future costs as well.