E-Mail a City Council Member
Urge your City Council Member to Act on the Medicare Injustice Today!
Your letters will count. NOW is the time to rise to the occasion and let the City Council know what the people they represent want. This one is for real guys so let's show 'em what we got. Only you can do this for us all.
Here are some letters written by your fellow Retirees. You may wish to consider modifying one or writing one for your particular situation.
Email addresses for all City Council Members are listed below. If you would like to see an official list with names, districts and neighborhoods served, check out this Link to the City Council
It's as Easy as 1,2,3 - Simply:
1. Select an appropriate Letter,
2. Copy and Paste it into an Email,
3. Add the appropriate Council Member(s) email,
4. Modify and Send!
Dear Sir/ Madam:
I am a NYC retiree and senior citizen and am writing to you in your capacity as a sitting member of the New York City Council. Soon, the Mayor and the MLC will petition the City Council to alter and diminish City retirees' healthcare which has been enshrined in the Administrative Code for decades. Many retirees entered City service with an eye toward stability in advanced years while opting for lower salaries in exchange.
The current retiree healthcare structure (Original Medicare supplemented by GHI Senior Care) is the result of many, many years of collective bargaining, sacrifices by workers and financial assistance to the City by our former unions. To be blunt; we are being sold out by the very City which we served and the unions to which we belonged. To make matters worse, the genesis of this is the misappropriation of $1,000,000,000 (one billion) which was earmarked in the Stabilization Fund to protect these very benefits which are under attack.
We implore you to consider this unfolding travesty when this matter comes before you and to enlist the support of your colleagues.
Dear Council Member (insert name):
I am a 70-year-old New York City retiree.
I retired in November of 2013 after working for the City for 35 years.
I am writing to urge you to vote against the proposed changes to NYC Administrative Code Section 12-126 that will soon be brought before you for consideration.
The proposed changes have their origin in an initiative hatched by the previous Mayor and the leaders of the Municipal Labor Committee. That initiative involved ‘borrowing’ health insurance stabilization funds to pay for raises to active employees and ‘repaying’ the borrowed funds with ‘savings’ generated by forcing New York City retirees to enroll in a ‘free’ Federally subsidized Medicare Advantage plan to be provided by a hastily cobbled together ‘alliance’ of large for-profit health insurance companies or to begin paying for the free Medicare supplemental health insurance plan they had earned as a result of their years of service.
While the previous Mayor and his Municipal Labor Committee cohorts did succeed in ‘borrowing’ stabilization money to fund raises, their repayment plan failed spectacularly. First, the materials distributed for the rollout of their Medicare Advantage plan were chock full of inaccurate and incorrect information which when corrected revealed the plan was significantly inferior to the Medicare supplemental plan most retirees prefer and included extensive pre-authorization requirements that would place many critical health care decisions in the hands of administrators instead of doctors. Second, retirees banded together under the banner of the of the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees for Benefit Preservation to sue the City and won a determination that NYC Administrative Code Section 12-126 did not allow the monthly cost of their Medicare supplemental plan to be increased to the coercive amount envisioned. Finally, both before and after the court decision, retirees opted out of the Medicare Advantage plan offered in such numbers that the cobbled together ‘alliance’ selected to provide the plan gave up and withdrew.
Although they are being presented as measures designed to reduce and stabilize healthcare benefit costs, the proposed changes to NYC Administrative Code Section 12-126 you will soon be asked to approve are in effect a second attempt to implement the previous administration’s ill-founded and poorly conceived repayment plan. If approved, the changes would allow the price of the Medicare supplemental health plan most retirees prefer and have earned the right to enjoy for free to be set at a level many will be unable to afford. As a consequence, many retirees will be forced to give up their Medicare supplemental healthcare plan and be forced to opt into an as yet to be defined privately run Medicare Advantage plan that, as all such plans always do, will employ prior authorizations and other means to manage care and maximize profit. Another serious problem with the changes you will be asked to approve is that they do not in any way try to create an opportunity for retirees to be in the room whenever union leaders and administration officials convene to decide the future of their healthcare benefits. The current out of sight out of mind policy making set up will remain in place and retirees will continue to be unrepresented and powerless when the future of their healthcare benefits are on the table. Finally, the changes proposed do not include any measures to preclude the kind of shenanigans the last administration engaged in from happening again and, in fact, are so vague in many respects they seem to encourage similar behavior regarding not only retiree healthcare benefits but the benefits being enjoyed by active employees as well.
As I said above, I worked for the City for 35 years. Throughout my years of service, I played by the rules. I wasn’t a superstar by any means, but I was a diligent and dedicated employee who won a Sloane award and got the job done. I strongly believe I earned and deserve the benefits awarded to me when I retired nearly ten years ago. Changing the rules now to take away a benefit I earned was unfair, unethical, and evil when the former Mayor’s administration attempted to do it and, in my opinion, will be just as unfair, unethical, and evil if achieved through the adoption of the proposed changes to NYC Administrative Code Section 12-126.
I am sympathetic to the goal of better controlling the cost of healthcare benefits but do not believe the pursuit of that goal should fall so directly and heavily upon retirees. That our well-earned and justly awarded benefits are regarded as a burden on the City that must shed is reprehensible. We did what we were asked to earn what was offered. We deserve to be respected, to have the commitments made to us honored and to be left alone to enjoy what time we have left. I hope you agree and will choose to vote against the proposed changes to NYC Administrative Code Section 12-126 that will soon be brought before for you for consideration.
I thank you for taking the time to read this email and for any consideration you give to my request. If you should have any questions that you would like me to answer, please convey them to me in a reply to this email or call me at the number below and I will do my best to get back to you as quickly as possible.
Dear Council Member (insert name):
Are you familiar with the City's plan to place all Medicare-eligible City retirees into a Medicare Advantage Plan? These plans are known to deny medical care that traditional Medicare would approve. They have limited networks. Further, this diminution of benefits follows the raiding of the City's Health Stabilization Fund to pay for in-service raises. Now, seniors are being blamed for the shortfall. The NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees has been fighting this since last year. After a State Supreme Court Judge denied the City the right to charge retirees $191pp to keep their traditional Medicare with secondary plans, based on the NYC Administrative Code Section 12-126, the City is appealing the decision. This, even though the insurance company that was to provide the "Advantage" Plan withdrew from the deal. Those of us that worked for the City, often earning less than the private sector, deserve to have the benefits we were promised.
City Council E-Mail Addresses:
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District33@council.nyc.gov; District34@council.nyc.gov; District35@council.nyc.gov; District36@council.nyc.gov; District37@council.nyc.gov; District38@council.nyc.gov; District39@council.nyc.gov; District40@council.nyc.gov; District41@council.nyc.gov; District42@council.nyc.gov; AskJB@council.nyc.gov; AskKalman@council.nyc.gov; District45@council.nyc.gov; District46@council.nyc.gov;
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