A recent ruling by a New York Supreme Court judge has put an end to New York City’s plans to require its retirees and their dependents to enroll in a private Medicare Advantage plan managed by Aetna. The court had previously issued a preliminary injunction in the case, which involved 250,000 retired employees and their dependents.
In his decision, Judge Lyle Frank stated that the move to Medicare Advantage would violate the guarantees made by the city to its active and retired workers regarding their entitlement to city-funded healthcare through Medicare and other supplemental insurance. He emphasized that the city had made promises to provide a Medicare supplemental plan to retirees, with Medicare being their primary form of coverage.
New York City Comptroller Brad Lander responded to the court’s order by expressing concerns about the privatization of Medicare plans, overbilling by insurance companies, and barriers to care under Medicare Advantage. He stressed the importance of quality health coverage as a basic human right for all seniors and New Yorkers.
While city officials voiced their disappointment with the ruling and have plans to appeal the order, they also acknowledged the financial challenges associated with healthcare costs for both retirees and active employees. They called for all parties involved to come together and find creative and effective solutions.
This decision serves as a reminder that retiree health benefits may not always be as secure as initially thought. As the legal battle continues, retirees and their dependents can stay informed on the latest developments.