Saturday, February 27, 2016

UFT Announces Health Care Changes - Is a HIP in Everyone's Future?

Upon receiving the UFT Welfare fund announcement yesterday about rises in copays, the first comment from my wife, a lifelong health care administrator who understands the ins and outs of healthcare plans, was that they are trying to ultimately force everyone into a HIP-like plan where you have to use their doctors, which would lead to significant savings.

Since we were married close to 45 years ago, my wife has adamantly taken the position of HIP- NO WAY because of the things she saw and heard on her job. The approval process and rigidity of certain aspects of HIP could be strangling.

I seem to remember that when HIP and GHI merged it was supported by and pushed by Randi and the UFT, which I wrote about on Ed Notes in 2008:

Jul 18, 2008 ... GHI/HIP. During the next 4-6 weeks, CAP will ask that every politician in NYC go on record regarding this issue (especially politicians involved ...

Mar 3, 2008 ... Recently, we have been made aware of the dangers of the GHI/HIP merger, which is supported by the UFT and most other unions. Guess what ...

May 10, 2008 ... The conversion (privatization) of GHI & HIP will fully expose 4 million people in NY State to the worst effects of this system. A number of ...

The MORE member and candidate who runs the Doenuts blog has been our resident expert in this issue and writes about it today:

Why Are Our Copays Going Up!!???

 

12 comments:

  1. Your concern is warranted but I also see our union speaking out against the "Big Pharm" ripoffs, I see our union continue to demand that we retain our doctors, and that we create a system which makes it possible for doctors to stay in our network. Medical costs continue to rise but shifting use from emergency rooms to care centers is a good idea which saves money for all of us.

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    1. Are the one who always sees our union doing good things and nothing bad? Name one thing you think they've done that is wrong.

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    2. Norm, just wanted to say thanks for the shout-out. Wish I could say I was a resident expert in anything, but I can say that the more i learned about this topic (and we'll all be experts on it soon, as the conditions will worsen straight across to 2018) the worse the picture looks. The only good news here is that we had gold plated health care -for free- for all this time. That'll be a story for the grandkids.

      A word about Anonymous: sounds like a new admit to Unity who is wise enough to keep reading the blogs for depth of information and equally wise to not post as him or her self. I think (s)he gets a sense that (s)he is being lied to by leadership about how things are wonderful and everything is great and bla bla bla. Things are bad, Norm and I hope this person comes to his or senses and brings him or her self to a MORE meeting -soon. Those of us who purvey in fact sure could use some company. Wouldn't you agree?
      Anyway thanks again and be well.

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  2. Norm, arent you the one who always sees our union doing bad things and nothing good? Name one thing you think they're done that is right.

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    1. First you name one thing they've done wrong. And you don't have to stop at one. Someone has to counter the propaganda.

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    2. They have taken every opportunity to shut out those who challenge their ideas ensuring that the membership remain apathetic and or ignorant. If their goal is to have an undemocratic union----they're doing it right. Roseanne McCosh

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  3. http://www.uft.org/union-resolutions/resolution-hip-and-ghi-merger-6-08

    Here's a resolution at the DA calling for EmblemHealth to give a share of their profits to the true stakeholders, the public employees of New York. Any idea whatever came of this?

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  4. http://www.uft.org/union-resolutions/resolution-hip-and-ghi-merger-6-08

    Here's a resolution at the DA calling for EmblemHealth to give a share of their profits to the true stakeholders, the public employees of New York. Any idea whatever came of this?

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    Replies
    1. If it was uft spondired it passed. If it was not it didn't. Either way I bet nothing came of it. I know we made a big deal about the merger and the union support for it but don't remember details. Check with Eterno. He may remember.

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    2. Great idea, but Emblem is non profit for another few years. No profits to share.

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  5. As Chapter Leader, I forwarded the email about change in health benefits to all the members on my email distribution list. One comment I received from a member in my school:

    "Quick vent....This is very sneaky of the city and the uft. When teachers agreed to this contract, none of this information was provided to us or put in writing. No one could or would give a concrete answer as to how our benefits could/would be changing."

    I don't think it's the increase in emergency room copays that has members alarmed, it's the increase in urgent care copays from $15 to $50. Another teacher pointed out that there's only one Advantage Care center in Suffolk county, where she lives. Yesterday someone mentioned that there are none in the Bronx.

    Many people use urgent care facilities for themselves and their family members because of the convenience (no need to miss work to go to the doctor) and so this is going to be quite a big hit to their pocketbooks.

    And yes, healthcare costs are going up but aren't these increases due to the unions promising a certain amount of cost savings which they haven't been able to come up with? Also interesting that the email didn't come from Michael Mulgrew, who sold us on this scheme, or any of the other UFT leaders running for re-election.

    Mary Ahern

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  6. I used to work for the city, but now work for another municipality. We pay a hefty percentage for health insurance, but then, where I live, the cost of living is much lower.
    ATRs, increased health care costs, punitive evaluation systems sold as "good" by union leadership, retirees who elect representatives, winner take all elections-our local's union leadership was thrown out for less than this.
    This is the year of Opt-out and Trump and also the big Sanders surprise.
    We all deserve to be treated with respect. I think that parents and the general population are tired of being treated disrespectfully.
    I remember being younger and consumed with the day-to-day job, plus caring for my family. I didn't think I could speak up or that there was another way. Being older, I see how important that simple respect and fairness is. My guess is that a lot of the membership is focused on day-to-day the way I was.
    I wish you all the best. And give you all a lot of credit for continuing to educate your colleagues.
    P.S.- Remember-Sanders and Trump are finding success by acknowledging that things are not good now, but also providing hope for a more positive future. "Free college" "Make America Great" A positive message goes along way!

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