Friday, October 22, 2021

Corrected - Retirees Win Temporary Halt to Change in Medicare --- Judge calls for "rational" implementation, Public Hearing NOT Cancelled

....if the petitioners and similarly situated individuals are required to opt-in or out of a medical program by the October 31, 2021 deadline there would certainly be irreparable harm.

SEND US ALL EMAILS SHE SENDS YOU, AND EMAIL US ASAP IF SHE CALLS.... NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees (for Benefit Preservation)

They are disagreeing with implementation of the plan… not the substance or the rationale.... UFT retiree

you should see the  celebration on Facebook. Like it's VE day. Don't think they grasp what the decision says.  .. A retiree
Friday, October 22, 2021, 7AM

This story broke last night and people are going hog wild. I would hold back on the celebrating over the long-term but for now it feels pretty good to see the Mulgrew/DeBlasio gang smacked down in court for such poor implementation and has ordered them to do it over. 

The Oct. 31 opt-out date is looming and assume that will be extended --- we did opt out already in three different ways (no one trusts these characters). I will reiterate that the confusion was intentional - we had to opt out of the new plan to stay  in the old plan and we had to submit papers to this brand new company that was created instead of the city -- irrational implementation as the judge stated.

Why did those who wanted to stay in Medicare (pays 80%) and Emblem/GHI Seniorcare (20%) have to be the ones to opt out? It should have been the people who wanted the new plan to be the ones to opt in. Fundamentally, few want the new plan and the major reason to take it is to avoid the extortion fee - which for us is about $4500 a year - to stay in the old plan.

There's a lot of commentary on the Retiree Advocate listserve and I will follow up with some of them interesting ones later. Here is the latest from The City --

Court Blocks Controversial Medicare Switch for Retired NYC Workers

That is why we are paying the extortion fee -- for assurance - it's insurance like flood insurance which we pay every year over 40 years but all it took was the one big flood of Sandy in 2012 to make it worth it.

This is a temporary victory but the judge also smacked down the Aetna and United Health suit -- other privatiser vultures who want a piece of the action. 

Full decision here.

.....while the Court has already determined that respondents’ ultimate determination of choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan provider was rational and does not intend to disturb that determination, the Court finds that the implementation of its program is irrational and if the petitioners and similarly situated individuals are required to opt-in or out of a medical program by the October 31, 2021 deadline there would certainly be irreparable harm. 
Accordingly, it is hereby 
ORDERED that the respondents are enjoined from enforcing the October 31, 2021 Opt- Out/ Opt-In date; 
and it is further
ORDERED that petitioners maintain the status-quo enrollment in until the respondents cure deficiencies with the implementation of the proposed new Medicare Advantage Plan, and it is further
ORDERED that such new plan be sent to this Court for this Court to review and determine whether such plan cures the defects as indicated above, and it if further
ORDERED that such plan be sent to the petitioner’s counsel seven days prior to such submission to the Court and petitioner may then provide any input regarding the proposed new plan to the Court.

So they will come back with the same deal but try to get it write on informing us and all that jazz. How long will it take? The rest of my lifespan wouldn't be bad -- oops -- I better not say anything -- they could come back tomorrow and I'd go "pfoof".

And on another front, there was supposed to be a hearing next week to talk about all this stuff --- are the roaches scurrying under their rocks?

CORRECTED - There was confusion as another public hearing was cancelled


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Contract Public Hearing scheduled for Thursday, October 28, 2021, at 10:00 AM, is hereby cancelled.

IN THE MATTER OF a proposed contract between the City of New York acting through Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations – Employee Benefits Program on behalf of the Labor Management Health Insurance Policy Committee for the New York City Health Benefits Program and Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. doing business as Empire BlueCross BlueShield Retiree SolutioFollns, 120 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46204, in strategic alliance with EmblemHealth Plan, Inc., for the provision of health benefits services in the form of a Medicare Advantage plan under Medicare Part C for the Medicare eligible retirees and dependents of the City of New York who are eligible for the City’s Health Benefits Program. The proposed contract is in the amount of approximately $23,000,000.00. The contract term shall be from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2026 with two one-year renewal options.  E-PIN #: 0021N002.

The proposed contractor has been selected by Negotiated Acquisition Method, pursuant to Section 3-04 (b)(2)(ii) of the Procurement Policy Board Rules.

The aforesaid Public Hearing has been NOT BEEN cancelled.



  1. The contract hearing is cancelled--not the public hearing at City Hall on October 28th at 1:00. Everyone should testify--remember, strength in numbers!!
    Witnesses will permitted to enter at 12:30pm. The public will be asked if they would like to testify at the entrance to City Council Chambers where they will be give a witness slip to complete. Your name will be called when it is your turn to testify. You will have approximately two minutes to complete your testimony.

    If you do not wish to testify in-person, you can provide written testimony up to 72 hours after the hearing takes place. You can submit written testimony to

    As a reminder, please be advised that all individuals entering City Hall must adhere to the following COVID-19 safety protocols:
    Properly wear a face covering at all times while in City Hall;
    Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet from others at all times except when not feasible in limited circumstances; and
    Complete a screening questionnaire for COVID-19 infection, exposure, and symptoms prior to entering the building.

  2. City Council public hearing is on! Everyone needs to show up to give in person testimony or provide written testimony. We need to inundate the Committee on Civil Service and Labor with our testimonies. They have "oversight over the Changes to Municipal Retirees' Healthcare plan." After you go inside to testify, please join us outside at our People's Hearing. Everyone has a voice! Let's make sure the city, politicians and the citizens of NYC hear about this!

  3. Parent had to make a decision to opt out or not. Is the only way to opt out through the mail. Parent has not received anything from the city about the change in the Oct 31 deadline which means the paperwork needs to go out Monday/Tuesday. Is there any other way to opt out? Fax? Email?

    My parent can’t decide and the $2400 for the upcoming year was not in budget. But, this policy is scary. Have you heard anything?

  4. Yes. Fax number on opt out form. Also address to email. And also an online link. Deadline will be extended so no rush


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