NEW YORK, September 27, 2021 / PRNewswire / – A coalition of nearly 4,000 firefighters, police officers, teachers, EMS and many other former retired City employees sued the City in an attempt to prevent the City from changing its health insurance coverage without the permission of the retiree. The Organization of Public Service Retirees, Inc., is a grassroots nonprofit organization formed in late August after the city announced plans to forcibly remove retirees from Medicare “Supplemental” or “Medigap” plans received as retirement benefit. after years of service to the City. The Organization contested the City by filing a Section 78 petition Sunday night in the Manhattan State Supreme Court.
City retirees sue town hall over health benefits
The new scheme, which affects nearly 250,000 elderly and disabled retirees, is a clear and significant decrease in the current health benefits of retirees. In an effort to reduce health care costs, the city decided it could shift insurance costs for Medicare-eligible retirees from the city budget to the federal budget through the new plan. This would impose costly co-payments, deprive retirees of many doctors who refuse to agree to the new plan, and impose often dangerous âpre-clearanceâ barriers to even the most common diagnostic tests and procedures.
âThe City did it in secret, never consulted a single retiree and relies on that no one has the courage or the resources to face the town hall. They counted badly, âsaid Marianne Pizzitola, the organization’s president, a retired EMT and a 9/11 responder in the fire department.
“The Section 78 petition is a way to challenge government agencies that overstep their authority,” said Steve cohen, partner of the Pollock Cohen law firm which represents retirees. âCity employees, retirees and their dependents are entitled to health benefits paid by the City up to a specified dollar amount. The obligation to pay for this insurance is not only established by law – City Administrative Code Section 12-126 – built into most collective agreements the City has made for decades, âCohen said.
âWe asked the City to discuss the needs of the elderly and those who retired with a disability after working at Ground Zero, and they pushed us away,â Pizzitola said. “I hope the city has the decency to at least meet those who have served the city and its residents. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the DeBlasio administration has ignored us.”
SOURCE Pollock Cohen LLP