First, you need to read the 9/9/22 message to members from James Davis, President of the PSC. It explains the PSC position (and opposition to the code changes), providing context and a clear, comprehensive analysis of what this means prospectively for members’ healthcare insurance.
Below is a secondary interpretation members might also find useful. The proposed change to the city administrative code is written in somewhat dense legal language. However, Robert Nelson, a member of the PSC Retirees Executive Committee, wrote a short description, of the proposed NYC administrative code changes for healthcare coverage for municipal employees and reirees. The interpretation is Nelson’s, but his retiree EC colleagues found it illuminating in translating the legal implications of the code changes into everyday, understandable language.
Some have indicated they don’t entirely understand what the MLC and the City have agreed to regarding health insurance for both active and retiree public employees. Here’s an attempt to make it plain:
The City and the MLC want to change the city law (known as the “administrative code”) that says the city must provide free health insurance to active and retired employees and their dependents. The change would allow the City, with the approval of the MLC, to create different classes (or tiers) of workers for the purposes of giving them health insurance, and the City could then give different free health insurance plans to each class.
Right now the city law does not allow different free plans. Once the change goes into effect, the City will change the free plan for retirees to a Medicare Advantage plan from the current traditional Medicare plan. The City will be allowed to offer the traditional Medicare plan and charge a premium. The City tried to institute such a change over the last year, but was blocked by a judge’s ruling. The City has appealed, and the case will be heard in October.
The MLC voted to support the change in the law on Thursday, September 8. The change in the law must now come before the City Council, which must first hold two hearings about it before it votes. The City wants the hearings and the vote to be in September so that the law case will be moot when it is heard.
Right now the class the City is aiming at is its retirees. But this change in the law allows the City and the MLC in the future to designate other groups of workers as classes that would get different “free” health insurance plans that would certainly be inferior.
Divide and conquer.
Published: September 9, 2022
Last Modified: September 30, 2022