A group of nearly 4,000 former public servants, including firefighters, police officers, teachers, and EMTs, say the city is stiffing them on their health insurance — by forcing them onto a new plan that costs more for fewer benefits, new court papers allege.
Under the new Medicare supplement plan, called Alliance Medicare Advantage, the city’s retired heroes will be required to pay $15 co-pays for many routine services, including specialist visits, diagnostic tests and trips to urgent care, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Sunday.
Currently, no co-pay is required.
In addition, not all doctors have to accept the plan and patients will need prior authorization for procedures that “may result in a serious delay of medical tests or procedures,” potentially endangering their health, the suit alleges.
The health plan, which goes into effect Jan. 1, was also struck quietly between the city and the Municipal Labor Committee — “a purely advisory group” that the retirees are
“not represented by the filing claims".
The two sides “engaged in a charade of ‘negotiating'” to reach the deal that affected some 250,000 retired government employees without their consultation, the suit charges.
And once the plan was finalized — without a public hearing being held — it was only announced on the Office of Labor Relations’ website on July 14 where it wouldn’t be widely seen, the suit claims.
The city “does not have the right to impose materially diminished benefits upon people who are long-retired and have depended upon vested benefits that were negotiated under earlier [Collective Bargaining Agreements] that were in place when they retired,”
Marianne Pizzitola said the city is pulling a safety net out from under former city employees.
The deal does technically allow the former public servants to opt-out of the new plan by October, but remaining on their current plan will cost them, the filing notes.
On top of also imposing the same co-pays as the new plan, the retired city workers will also have to cough up nearly $200 extra a month if they choose to stay with their current coverage, the court papers allege.
Supplemental insurance, called Medigap, covers the 20 percent that Medicare doesn’t. The subsidized coverage is costing the city over
$500 million a year.
“Understandably, the City would like to reduce its healthcare costs. But it cannot do so by shifting those expenses onto the retirees,”
the suit said.
Marianne Pizzitola, the president of the Organization of Public Service Retirees, Inc., the group suing the city, said it is pulling “the most critical of safety nets” out from under thousands of elderly and disabled former city employees — many of whom now live on fixed incomes.
A lawyer on the suit, Steve Cohen of law firm Pollock Cohen LLP, said “Importantly, the obligation to pay for that insurance is not only established by law … but is incorporated into most of the collective bargaining agreements that the City has entered into for decades.”
Nick Paolucci, a spokesman with the city Law Department said,
“The city is committed to selecting providers that are in the best interest of the city and its retirees.
“We’ll review the case.”
Not sure if your doctor is part of the
New Medicare Advantage Plus Plan?
Well now you can find out, click on the 'FIND OUT MORE' tab
and follow this procedure:
HIGHLIGHT THE "GUESTS BOX", then scroll down to:
SELECT TYPE OF CARE-use the scroll bar\/
Click on MEDICAL
NEXT SELECT YOUR STATE-use scroll bar\/
Click on "NEW YORK"
NEXT SELECT TYPE OF PLAN-use scroll bar\/
Click on "MEDICARE"
NEXT SELECT NETWORK-use scroll bar\/
Click on NYC MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLUS
Once you attain the page, insert
CITY or COUNTY or ZIP CODE of your Doctor, then put in
your doctor's First and Last Name, then hit the SPACE BAR,
NOT the ENTER BAR.*
Once the name appears, click on it, and see if "IN NETWORK" shows up under the doctor's name. If you see that then he or she is in the MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLUS Plan.
*If the name doesn't appear, you should contact your Doctor to ask him if he/she will be in the Network at a future date.*
We were unable to provide a link to our own RMA Meeting Presentation of the Medicare Advantage Plan Plus but we do have a link from the Sgt.'s Benevolent Association which is identical to our meeting on 9/30/21. Kim Parker is the keynote speaker in the You Tube Link. We thank her again for showing up at our RMA Meeting and giving us an informative presentation.
CLICK ON THE "FIND OUT MORE" BUTTON BELOW...
Our first daytime meeting was a tremendous success. Close to 200 members showed up for it. Representatives from the UFA and the UFOA spoke as well as Health Care Professionals. Many Thanks to Mike O'Keeffe for his Projection Prowess. We are in the process of providing a Video Link for all to watch, in the meantime click on the "FIND OUT MORE" Button below for some pictures and info. See you in November for our next meeting on 11/30/21 in Brooklyn...
FDNY - COVID Updates
Covid-19 vaccine (Moderna) available at FDNY for anyone not yet vaccinated or immunocompromised in need of third dose
FDA approved a 3rd Covid-19 vaccine dose booster for anyone moderately to severely immunocompromised. Criteria include:
Medical documentation is not needed. If you are moderately or severely immunocompromised, you are eligible.
Appointments can be scheduled by calling 718-999-2683 Monday-Friday 9 am to 5 pm.
FDNY has set up several locations for anyone unvaccinated or for those immunocompromised who previously received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination and need a 3rd dose.
For those persons who have been vaccinated and are NOT immunocompromised, please do not call for a 3rd dose appointment until eligible in late September.
You can find more information here about the COVID-19 vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Covid-19 vaccine (Moderna) available at FDNY for anyone not yet vaccinated or immunocompromised in need of third dose FDA approved a 3rd Covid-19 vaccine dose booster for anyone moderately to severely immunocompromised. Criteria include: o Current or recent treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood o Organ transplant and taking anti-rejection (immune suppressing) drugs o Stem cell or bone marrow transplant within last 2 years or taking immune suppressing drugs o Moderate or severe immunodeficiency diseases including certain autoimmune diseases or HIV/AIDS o Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids such as Prednisone or other immune suppressing drugs such as Methotrexate, Cellcept, Cytoxan, Humira, Remicaid, Embrel, among others Medical documentation is not needed. If you are moderately or severely immunocompromised, you are eligible. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 718-999-2683 Mon-Fri 10 am to 4pm. FDNY has set up several locations for anyone unvaccinated or for those immunocompromised who previously received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination and need a 3rd dose. For those persons who have been vaccinated and are NOT immunocompromised, please do not call for a 3rd dose appointment until eligible in late September. You can find more information here about the COVID-19 vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The following Bills must be acted upon immediately in order to protect our current vested health care coverage. You MUST do your part to insure passage of A05108 and S05184.
RMA Executive Trustee Wilbur Hutchins turned "100" on Saturday April 3rd, 2021.
Wilbur informed us that he would like to receive some birthday cards in the US Mail. He said he would rather have the cards in hand that have e-mails sent to him. He said his computer is acting up anyway. You can send a Birthday wish to Wilbur and address it to:
190-45 111th Road
St. Albans, NY 11412
Wilbur stated to us that he has received his second vaccine shot and feels good about getting the vaccine. However Wilbur has had to endure the effects of Cellulitis, recently, with some stays in the hospital because of it.
Wilbur is a devout member of the Retired Member's Association and has been at most, if not all of the meetings. In the picture he is celebrating his 98th Birthday at the April 2019 Meeting.
As vaccines become more widely available, it's important to keep taking steps to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Once the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available to you,
here's what you should know:
Visit CDC.gov for additional trustworthy information on the COVID-19 vaccines.
The Medicare Team
The Secure Act increased the required minimum distribution (RMD) age from 70 1/2 to 72, marking the first change to the RMD age since first becoming law in 1986. The age increase will only apply to anyone born on or after July 1, 1949. Now that some taxpayers will be able to defer distributions from retirement accounts until age 72, should they? It turns out, tax-deferred growth isn’t always a no-brainer.
First, as a practical matter, many retirees can’t actually afford to hold off on using their retirement savings until they’re 72. Even for those who can wait until they reach RMD age, it might not make sense to. The ‘right’ withdrawal strategy will depend on multiple factors, which change over time along with the laws, tax code, and the individual’s personal financial situation.
Here are some of the important considerations to discuss with your financial and tax advisor as you draft a retirement income strategy.
Especially for investors who have already retired, tax planning can really pay off. If you’ve already retired and don’t need income from retirement accounts before age 72, you could be living off funds from a taxable brokerage account and perhaps Social Security, too. Depending on your finances, this could land you in some of the lowest tax brackets.
In 2020, married couples filing jointly are in the 12% marginal tax bracket until $80,250 of taxable income before progressing into the 22% rate on the next dollar of income. For couples with less than $80,000 in taxable income, they may pay no tax at all on long-term capital gains!
In this type of situation, it could be advantageous for taxpayers to consider accelerating the realization of income to ensure they’re able to take full advantage of a favorable tax bracket. With some planning, you could calculate how much to take from tax-deferred accounts to stay under the next marginal tax bracket increase (or whatever metric makes sense for your tax and financial situation).
The Fire Department Pension fund has relocated from headquarters to its new location in Manhattan.
The address is 1 Battery Park Plaza, 9th Floor NY , NY 10004-1405
Phone number : 929 436 0099
Please see the attachment for further details.
(CLICK ON "FIND OUT MORE")
(REIMBURSEMENTS COMMENCED MONDAY MARCH 23rd, 2021, EITHER THRU A CHECK IN THE US MAIL OR THRU A DIRECT DEPOSIT INTO YOUR ACCOUNT.)
TO WATCH A VIDEO ABOUT THE REIMBURSEMENT,
APRIL 2021 UPDATE:
Medicare Part B Reimbursements
Medicare Differential Payments were sent out by the NYC Office of Labor Relations (OLR) on or about Monday, March 22, 2021. These differential payments are only applicable to members on Medicare prior to 2016 who did not receive the full amount that they were entitled to.
The actual reimbursements for Medicare Part B will be sent to members in mid-April. If you have direct deposit for your pension check, it will be direct deposited. If you receive paper pension checks, you will be mailed a check.
Please refrain from contacting the NYC Office of Labor Relations until after you receive your Medicare Part B Reimbursements in mid-April.
Medicare Part B Reimbursements Incorrect Amounts
Retirees who believe they received the incorrect amount on their Reimbursement should submit the differential form along with the Social Security 1099s for the year(s) you feel you were shortchanged, using the Leapfile Website.
Leapfile Website (Select IRMAA/Differential, then upload the FORM and 1099s):
If you did NOT receive a Medicare Part B Reimbursement from the NYC Office of Labor Relations, it is probably because you have not yet submitted the Medicare Part B Reimbursement Application (along with a COPY of your Medicare Card). Alternatively, if you are not currently enrolled with the NYC Health Benefits / Medical Plan, you would not be eligible for the Part B Reimbursement.
If you have already uploaded the necessary Medicare Reimbursement Forms to OLR using the Leapfile Website, and/or if you have any follow up questions with the NYC Office of Labor Relations regarding your Medicare Part D Reimbursement, you can email email@example.com.
To all Retirees,
The following notice is to inform retirees on Medicare that your 2019 Standard Part B reimbursement from OLR (Office of Labor Relations) may not have been for the full amount you and/or spouse paid. This applies ONLY to those who were enrolled in Medicare PRIOR TO 2016. If you enrolled in Medicare in 2016 or later, the reimbursement amount
should have been accurate.
If affected, you will be required to fill out a Medicare Differential Form found in a link with this e mail. The reimbursement is scheduled for some time in the 1st quarter of 2021. Follow the instructions and return with the supporting paperwork stated in Section III of the form.
***SEE LINK FOR FORM BELOW ***
ALSO those recipients and/or spouse who are subject to IRMAA and were enrolled in Medicare prior to 2016 may not have received the full reimbursement for their standard Part B. IRMAA recipients do not need to file for the differential as long as they have submitted the IRMAA reimbursement form. When the IRMAA reimbursement is paid, (October 2020) the differential for the Standard Part B will be included. The form for IRMAA reimbursement is in the link below.
Note that if you had not filed for IRMAA reimbursement in the past but had paid IRMAA you can submit for 2018 and 2017 using the form below.
*** CONTINUE TO LINK BELOW ***
An explanation has been provided by OLR regarding this issue: As Part B premiums have increased, the amount of the increase has, at times, been more than what the social security COLA increase provided to some recipients. Had the full increase of the Part B premium been applied to all, a social security recipient could have had a net reduction in their monthly benefit.
Because of Medicare's "hold harmless” provision, the monthly increase to an individual's Part B premium could vary in order to avoid a reduction in that person's monthly Social Security benefit. This results in variable amounts being paid for Part B premiums that are specifically unique to each individual. The increase in Part B premiums could vary from $1 to $318 per person. Since, the City has no way of verifying what each person pays for their Medicare Part B premium, documentation of what an individual actually paid in Part B premiums is needed.
Medicare Part B reimbursements were issued for the calendar year 2019 for Medicare-eligible retirees and
Medicare-eligible dependents in April 2020.
Any retirees who were Medicare eligible on or after calendar year 2016 are eligible for $134.00 per month
(12 months= $1,608 per each eligible person).
They receive this amount automatically.
Any retirees who were Medicare eligible prior to the calendar year 2016 must complete the Medicare Part B differential Form (see below link) and provide SSA-1099 for the calendar year 2019. Those retirees who submit this form may receive an additional amount up to $300 under the Medicare Part B differential.
This payment will be issued in Spring 2021
IT MUST BE SENT ELECTRONICALLY FOR
US MAIL IS NOT BEING ACCEPTED AT THIS TIME.
Due to the pandemic OLR’s offices were closed on March 17, 2020. Correspondence arriving after March 11 was not processed. Please review the following if you were impacted by this. You will have to resubmit forms and documentation electronically if you filed forms by U.S. Mail for the following: 2019 Medicare Part B Differential, or 2019 Medicare IRMAA reimbursement, or Initial Enrollment for you or spouse in the Part B reimbursement plan Please visit the OLR website for instructions, step-by-step video and the needed forms to complete this task. OLR home page: healthbenefitshome (nyc.gov) Medicare Part B reimbursement information forms and links to submit via e mail. health-retiree-medb-irmaa (nyc.gov) Submitting instructions health-retiree-leapfile-instructions (nyc.gov) If you are submitting paperwork for future reimbursements such as 2020 Part B differential (Form will be available in April 2020) , IRMAA 2020, (Form not yet available) or initial Part B reimbursement enrollment, (Form is available on line) it is recommended to continue with the electronic filing unless instructed differently. Please monitor the OLR homepage for guidance.
On July 29, 2019, the President signed into law The Never Forget the Heroes: James Zadroga, Ray Pfeifer, and Luis Alvarez Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The VCF Permanent Authorization Act extends the VCF’s claim filing deadline from December 18, 2020, to October 1, 2090, and appropriates such funds as may be necessary to pay all approved claims. The VCF recognizes that claimants will have many questions about) the impact of the legislation on their claims. The VCF is committed to processing claims without interruption and issuing full payments to those who received a reduced award. Additional details about the VCF Permanent Authorization Act can be found here.
Please check this website frequently for updates.
We are Retired NYC Firefighters of all ranks. We meet five times per year at two locations; 901 Lakeville Road in New Hyde Park and 3051 Nostrand Ave in Brooklyn, NY. Through our Newsletter and this website we hope to keep you informed about your pensions.
Are you passionate about what we're doing? Let us know! We are always looking for volunteers to help us make our organization better for our members. We'll help you find a way to volunteer that best suits you. We're excited to have you join the team!
Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help
of supporters like you.
RETIRED MEMBER'S ASSOCIATION, INC
Fire Department City of New York
ORGANIZED JANUARY 1ST, 1946
APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP
We offer three types of Membership.
Life Membership- one time payment of $150.00 gives you a gold RMA Membership Card and our periodic newsletters. This is for new members.
Life Membership-for existing members with a minimum total of
10 consecutive paid dues years. One time payment of $75.00 gives you a Gold RMA Membership Card and our periodic newsletters.
Annual Membership-Annual dues of $15.00 gives you 1 year of membership with associated Card, and one year of issued Newsletters.
Once you have decided on
the type of Membership you desire, download the PDF Application above, fill out and send with your check
made payable to the RMA
and send via US Mail to:
PO Box 1332 Baldwin, NY 11510
Attn: Jim Hayhurst