Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Campion announce new and improved health benefits program for City Ret

July 14, 2021

NYC Medicare Advantage Plus Program Will Provide New And Better Benefits For Retirees While Controlling Costs And Strengthening The System In The Future

NEW YORK-Mayor Bill de Blasio and Labor Relations Commissioner Renee Campion today announced an agreement with the municipal labor committee to implement the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus program, a personalized program for city retirees, effective of January 1, 2022. The agreement stems from the health savings program of June 2018. Agreement establishing a tripartite working group on labor management to study ways to achieve savings in health care costs. The implementation of the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus program will generate approximately $ 600 million per year in health care savings for the system.

“The City’s commitment to our retirees is unwavering, and our new plan increases both quality and benefits for retirees while reducing costs for the City and its taxpayers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We know change can be difficult, but we are confident that it will be implemented with little disruption and that the City will continue to provide high quality health care to its more than 1.2 million active employees. , retirees and dependents, ”said Labor Relations Commissioner Renée Campion.

After careful consideration, the city and the municipal labor committee selected an alliance between Empire BlueCross BlueShield and EmblemHealth to deliver the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus program. This provides continuity for the majority of employees and retirees who are currently enrolled in the city’s CBP and Senior Care programs. The program is rated four stars by Medicare.

The NYC Medicare Advantage Plus program replaces the current Senior Care program, which is a supplement to traditional health insurance, as a free program for all retirees. Other buy-back options, including the Senior Care plan and the HIP VIP program, will remain available to retirees.

The NYC Medicare Advantage Plus program replaces both traditional Medicare and a supplemental health insurance plan with a single, integrated program administered by an insurer approved by Medicare. The plan must follow Medicare rules and provide all of the benefits provided by Medicare. The plan will not only cover all of the traditional Medicare benefits as well as the benefits covered by the Senior Care Supplementary Plan, but will also add important new benefits, including 24 trips to the doctor, delivery of meals to patients after discharge from the hospital. hospital, fitness program, wellness rewards program and telemedicine.

In collaboration with the insurer, the City plans to have an extensive education program over the summer and early fall that will include virtual and in-person meetings, mailings and outreach calls to each of our 250,000 retirees. Retirees will still be eligible for reimbursement of the Medicare Part B benefit they receive today.

A major concern for retirees is whether they can keep their current doctors and hospitals in an NYC Medicare Advantage Plus program. Under the city’s Medicare Advantage Plus program, a retiree can visit any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare. It does not matter whether or not this supplier is part of the insurer’s network. As long as the provider receives payment from Medicare, they are obligated to accept payment from the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus program. This includes all New York area hospitals, including Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Special Surgery Hospital (HSS), and almost all hospitals nationwide and 99.5% of all physicians. The program is a national program, so it covers retirees from any state they work or reside in and when they travel.

The city spends more than $ 1 billion a year on retiree benefits, including reimbursement of Medicare Part B, which will help the city control those costs while improving the quality of care for retirees. Nationally, Medicare Advantage plans have rapidly grown in popularity, and about four in ten retirees are now covered by a Medicare Advantage plan instead of traditional Medicare.

NYC Medicare Advantage Plus program materials will be distributed to all retirees in early August and a call center will be set up by the Retiree Alliance to handle inquiries at that time.

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About Evelyn C. Heim

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