CHECK OUT OUR NEWEST PAGE: LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
The annual FDNY vs. NYPD Battle of the Badges charity baseball game will be held at Citi Field on Thursday, August 11 at 7:10 p.m.
General admission tickets are $20.
All proceeds from the game will benefit
NYPD and FDNY designated charities.
Yesterday, the City of NY, the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC), United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield distributed a statement that Anthem, the parent company of Empire, withdrew from the ‘Alliance’ that was created to compel Medicare eligible retirees into a private, for profit Medicare Advantage Plan. The statements from the City of NY and UFT President Michael Mulgrew are arrogant and tone deaf. Through the last year, the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees has shared a plethora of information regarding the differences between Medicare Advantage Plans (MAP) and Traditional Medicare. In April 2022, the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HSS OIG) released a report that Medicare Advantage clients withdraw from their MAP's in their last year of life to return to Traditional Medicare. This is a clear indication that sufficient access to care is lacking in MAPs. Yet, Mr. Mulgrew, the MLC and the City of NY continue their intention to force retirees into a MAP. They are failing to take into consideration the safety, freedom of choice of plans and regional needs of the retirees. This is a careless disregard for those who have served this City faithfully. For the MLC who claims to “represent retirees” they surely are failing in their purported duty to fairly represent. The truth is, unions cannot legally represent retirees, but they always protected them. Until now. It is our reverent hope that they all find their the courage to stand up to the MLC and stop negotiating away benefits retirees earned and paid for their own financial benefit. They are free to negotiate away their benefits, not ours. Lastly, the MLC and City need some self-reflection. It should speak volumes that the only way for them to incur a savings to be used in their own bargaining is to force retirees into a plan they do not want, has been offered to retirees for decades and they still didn’t select them. The unions used these very same arguments in their opposition memos to block the NYS Single Payer plan, and yet, they have no problem forcing us into a plan we do not want. They are trying to do to us the very same thing they opposed. The taxpayers reap no savings from this debacle either, as the City promised the savings to the Unions to use in the Health Insurance Stabilization Fund. We were promised premium free insurance, and we paid for it while working. Forcing us into a premium free plan that is a MAP, is inferior to Traditional Medicare with a Supplemental. We remain open to discuss the protection of retiree benefits we earned and paid for whenever the MLC, Unions, City, and the Mayor wish to discuss them.
We, as the retirees who are on the receiving end of this debacle,
have been patient.
We have put a lot of work into protecting what WE earned and what WE were promised. Because the MLC and the City of NY used the Stabilization Fund like a slush fund and left it defunct, they have sought to sell off the value of retiree health insurance and apply it towards active union collective bargaining, by dumping Medicare eligible retirees; (senior citizens, widows, disabled 9/11 responders), into a Medicare Advantage plan (MAP). You were told MAP is the same as GHI CBP. But Medicare Eligibles do not have GHI CBP, we have Traditional Medicare and a Supplemental plan. Our benefits were already better than GHI CBP! You were told it has better benefits. It does not. You were told we would love it. WE DO NOT. We do not believe you truly understand the fundamental differences between traditional Medicare and MAP. If you truly understood, and really care about those that came before you, you would not have agreed to this. We have been trying to tell you this for a year!
The audacity of Michael Mulgrew of the UFT to put out an email like this INSISTING they will work on yet another MA plan is incomprehensible given the HHS OIG (Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General) reports (link to report) that Medicare Advantage plans delay and deny care through prior authorizations, do not always adhere to CMS (Centers for Medicare Services) guidelines, and do not always reimburse providers or patients when they should have. Did you also know GAO found seniors LEAVE a MAP in their last year of life and go back to Traditional Medicare? Why? Because they are not getting the access to care. We do not know if it is sheer arrogance, greed, ignorance or a combination of all. We urge you to recognize that these tactics are ARE SELLING OUT RETIREES and ARE SELLING OFF FUTURE RETIREE BENEFITS FOR YOUR PAYCHECK!
MA Plans have been part of the City plan offering for a very long time. THEY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A CHOICE, NOT A MANDATE. You should be asking yourselves why. When you have to force someone into a plan and keep them there for 12 months before they can get out, strip them from choices they have had for over 50 years, and adding penalties for opting out, it's time for reflection. We are urging you to push back on the MLC and NOT force retirees into MA plans. We earned and paid for our benefits, leave us with what we earned. You are free to negotiate for your own futures.
Stop imposing costs on us that did not ever exist as they are destroying the care people had access to. In light of inflation at over 9%, Medicare donut holes and the new copays the MLC forced on us, we are experiencing financial stress on our fixed incomes. We have thousands of retirees that make under $20,000 a year pensions and are being forced to choose between their medicine and seeing the doctor as their copays for care are $300-400 a month. Premium free healthcare as we were promised should be your priority, but imposing copays, on disabled and infirm seniors, are an equivalent to a Premium. You are young and healthy, many of us are not. We have had enough. We have possible savings solutions to help you, and yet no one is listening. We have found several ways to save a few hundred million dollars and still not one union is talking to us. But we hear the MLC is working on changing Admin Code 12-126 to get around the Court's order. This law must be protected or you open us ALL (employees, retirees and dependents) to additional health costs.
The MLC givebacks of prior authorizations, co pays and deductibles have succeeded in preventing access to medical care. The Milliman reports even suggest reducing the network to prevent utilization. Who does this? Unions used to fight for their people. They didn't compromise or sell out retirees and widows. Unions used to be a formidable bargaining force. Today, the City is telling you that you have a finite value and if you want more, you have to give something up. It's time to get the MLC to advocate for you, or you should leave the MLC and start the MLC 2.0. Every union should have an EQUAL voice, not a weighted vote. One union, one vote. Attached, please review the MLC documents we found. If the MLC is not speaking for you and representing your loyal union members and retirees, STOP PAYING DUES and LEAVE. START A NEW MLC.
Brothers and Sisters,
We have received some inquires recently concerning deductions listed on the monthly pension checks. Specifically, there has been questions about the deduction identified as “Uniformed fire officers Assn MLC”. This deduction has been mislabeled and appears to suggest that this is as a contribution to the MLC. That could not be further from the truth. This is the optional contribution to the UFOA COPE Fund and does not direct any contributions to the MLC. The COPE Fund was established in May of 2012, to fulfil the legal obligation to ensure that union dues, was not used for political purposes. The COPE Fund uses voluntary contributions to support legislation in City Hall, and Albany, that would affect our collective bargaining for pensions, benefits, and working conditions. In the past, the fight The UFOA waged, and won, against the New York State Constitutional Convention was paid for using money from this fund. We continue to use the COPE Fund to defend and improve our hard-earned benefits. That is why it is important that we have this contribution from the active and retired members. The UFOA has been in contact with Office of Payroll Administration (OPA) since May 2022, requesting that the deduction accurately reflect the title of the fund into which, the money is to be deposited. The representative from OPA has informed us that the correction will be made in the next pay period. Please continue to support and participate in your local retiree organization. They will have the most comprehensive access to accurate information. In addition, the UFOA Executive Board will always be available to address questions and concerns from the membership.
Fraternally, The UFOA Executive Board
We requested the City of New York provide us with a start date and details regarding the exact benefit plans the city would be offering their retirees by July 15, 2022. The City of New York did not provide us with the details we requested. This timeline was important because delaying any further would not give retirees enough time to fully understand their options, benefits, and coverage in advance of open enrollment prior to January 1, 2023. Given the level of uncertainty at this time, we informed the city that Empire BlueCross BlueShield is not able to participate in offering the NYC Medicare Advantage Plus Plan.
SOCIAL SECURITY has a new way to help your lower your drug costs; it's called "Extra Help". Click on the "FIND OUT MORE" button below which is the social security website dealing with prescription help. There it will tell you if you are eligible or not. Depending on your income, your Meds could be much cheaper.
Marianne will be our One and Only Guest Speaker at our September Meeting, to be held Tuesday September 27th, 2022 at the Elk's Club,
901 Lakeville Road New Hyde Park, NY 11040
Here's a little background on our guest speaker:
President, and Founding member of the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees, Inc, an organization to unite retirees, defend and protect hard earned benefits in retirement. Under pressure, the City of NY and Municipal Labor Committee negotiated away hard earned benefits from the most vulnerable population, retirees. Many, retired for 20, 30, 40 and even more than 50 years, infirm, disabled, disabled 9/11 responders, line of duty widows, all risk losing their Federal Medicare and City supplemental coverage and be forced into a managed plan with many restrictions. This NYCO PSR stopped them. Get involved. If you are an Active NYC employee you need to pay attention, as this is your giveback in your future. We sued the City of NY in September 2021 and the Court found for us Marc 3, 2022. The City is attempting to appeal. We will fight back. Join this group of municipal retirees to save ALL of our health benefits! Founded and President of the FDNY EMS Retirees Association, a 501c3 Not For Profit organization to help members of the FDNY EMS in retirement by advocating for their continued benefits, introducing legislation to help retirees, and ensuring their health benefits are not diminished.
We will need a head count commencing
September 1st, 2022.
In the meantime, go have a terrific summer. Enjoy the outdoors and your family.
A lot has happened in the last week. Let me summarize… ·
It was revealed that the City had lied to us, the Supreme Court and the Appellate court. We are currently reviewing our options to address. Stay tuned. https://nypost.com/2022/06/18/retirees-accuse-nyc-of-lying-to-judge-in-health-benefits-battle/ ·
As I write this, the MLC is drafting legislation to modify 12-126 of the NYC Administrative Code. See below for the explanation. If this statue is modified or rescinded, or they remove all plans offered except one, (what we call the Nuclear Option) We will ALL** pay more including Premiums, deductibles, and COPAYS, and in some cases with our health. It was revealed that the MLC (unions) and the City released a RFI (Request for Information) seeking to replace our current health plans. This isn’t an RFP (request for proposal) see this listing to understand what they are seeking, but it is the first step! Our Senior care, is carved out of the GHI CBP plan. If they kill that plan, we lost our Senior Care. If they do away with HIP HMO,
we lost the benchmark.
What is the benchmark?
The BENCHMARK: NYC Administrative Code 12-126 is how we won our lawsuit in March. The code states, that the CITY WILL PAY THE FULL COST OF INSURANCE FOR ALL EMPLOYEES, RETIREES AND THEIR DEPENDENTS UP TO THE HIP HMO RATE ON A CATEGORY BASIS OF INDIVIDUAL OR FAMILY. That means that whatever the cost of HIP HMO (today it is about $860 per month for individual) the City must pay for whatever plan you choose up to that benchmark. A retiree on Medicare, OUR plans are cheap if you are on GHI Senior Care its under $200 even if you add in the cost of our Medicare, ($170.10 per month) Our plans cost under $400 per month. So do not believe someone that says we are bankrupting the funds or cost them a lot.
12-126 also provides us with Medicare B reimbursement. https://www.nysfocus.com/2022/06/15/city-cost-cutting-health-plan/ · The RFI: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/olr/downloads/pdf/rfp/rfi-health-benefits-program.pdf ·
Our appeals Case is still awaiting assignment of a date and lead Justice. NEITHER have been assigned yet. The City has to file its remaining documents by mid July, ours by August, and we will hopefully be on the calendar in September or October. ·
We are also working on the Co pay issue. This WAS in our Supreme Court case, but the City is ignoring the ruling.
We are further pursing this. Stay tuned. ·
We did a story about the Fire Widows last fall as the City and MLC plan would have affected them. (see attached PDF) ·
Many say I have AETNA or another Medicare Advantage plan (MAP). Well, you are not entirely safe! Here is why…The reason the City/MLC tried to dump us into a MAP was because the Federal Government pays the FULL cost of the plan… this removed the burden of the cost to them. With the Feds subsidizing the plan, if that subsidy every reduces, the insurer will ask the City for money. If the City refuses to pay, but passes the cost to us, WE PAY. If the City refuses to pay, and doesn’t pass the cost on to retirees, the Insurer will REDUCE our benefits. And you know what? The City and MLC did this before. 2017, the HIP VIP plan was subsidized by the Feds. When the subsidy reduced, and the city would not pay, HIP ended the drug plan, made retirees pay $150 per person per month a drug plan, and added co pays, and in some cases doubled them. And added more prior authorizations. THIS CAN HAPPEN TO ANY**
MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN. ·
Many healthy retirees have no issue with the MAP. Many do. The Federal Health and human Services office did yet another study and found that MAPs wrongly apply criteria not consistent with Medicare to the detriment of the senior. https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/OEI-09-18-00260.asp
Knowledge is Power. Let's get our unions to understand and protect retiree benefits, so they are here when they retire!
President NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees
As you know the City’s implementation of the “Medicare Advantage Plan” for retired city employees who are 65 and those who receive Social Security Disability (Medicare eligible) has been put on hold pending litigation. It is anticipated that the next court date will be in September of this year regarding this litigation. Recently the “Alliance” ( Anthem, Empire Blue Cross, Emblem) just issued a FAQ regarding their “Medicare Advantage Plan”.
CLICK "FIND OUT MORE" BUTTON FOR ALL OF THE INFO
City lawyers lied to a state judge in a “shameful” bid to cheat them out of health insurance benefits, according to a retired group of firefighters, cops, teachers and other public servants. The lawyers have argued in court filings and before a Manhattan Supreme Court judge that NYC retirees must accept a new, privately administered plan or pay $191.57 monthly to maintain current coverage.
However, The Post obtained a Feb 16, 2016 letter from Stephen Louis, a top city Law Department attorney, to then-Labor Commissioner Robert Linn which appears to confirm the city is required by law to pay for all retiree health plans up to a price cap. “They misled the court,” fumed Marianne Pizzitola, who heads the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees, when shown the letter, calling it “shameful.”
Louis wrote that the Administrative Code requires the city to pay for any plan “up to the full cost of the health care package offered”
Assistant Corporation Counsel William Fraenkel told Judge Lyle Frank on Feb. 28 that making every plan premium-free would
“run contrary” to the law.
Frank ruled in favor of the retirees in March. The city appealed. The ruling will affect 250,000 ex-workers. “The city did not mislead the court,” said a Law Department spokesman, adding that critics are “selectively quoting” Louis’ letter.
On March 3, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lyle Frank ruled on a lawsuit brought by the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees. The ruling said that the city could not charge retirees who wanted to opt out $192 a month to keep their current health coverage. Judge Frank said the city administrative code requires it to “pay the entire cost of health insurance coverage for city employees, city retirees and their dependents.” On March 4, the city corporation council filed a notice that it plans to appeal the decision. The appeal has been placed on the Appellate Court’s calendar for the September 2022 term. A letter from OLD Commissioner Renee Campion stated that all retirees will remain on their current plans until further notice. We will inform our members as more information becomes available.
For additional information, you can call the special Alliance call center at 1-833-325-1190, Monday to Friday,
8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
[FREE COVID TEST KITS>CLICK HERE TO GO TO OUR COVID PAGE< ]
> FDNY - COVID-19 ILLNESS ON THE RISE (7/19/22)
Protection is the way forward
COVID-19 Illness on the Rise
Three Step Defense is Your Best Offense
NYC DOHMH & CDC reporting extremely high rates of COVID-19 infection in our community. Last week, over 15% of those who tested were positive.
FDNY's Moderna Booster appears to provide the highest level of protection from Covid-19 illness. Breakthrough infections do occur, but those vaccinated and boosted rarely require hospitalization. While a booster is not yet required for employment by FDNY, it is the prudent medical choice.
Vaccinations and Boosters are available at FDNY to adults (active, retired or family members).
If immunocompromised [cancer treatment or diagnosed within last year; autoimmune diseases on certain medications (oral steroids, methotrexate, Humira, Remicaid, etc); or transplant patients], you qualify for additional doses if it has been 1-4 months since your last shot.
Please check full qualifications here via tool or scroll further for full description: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html
If you are recovering from COVID-19, you only need to wait 10 days from onset or 90 days if you were treated with monoclonal antibodies.
No matter what your original shot was (J&J, Pfizer, Moderna), you can be boosted with the Moderna vaccine at FDNY.
FDNY Vaccination Sites
If your booster(s) was received at a non-FDNY site, please submit proof of vaccination via the COVID Test Result and Vaccination Proof Upload application on the FDNY Intranet homepage (include last 4 or DOB) or via email to: [HRVaxProof@fdny.nyc.gov]HRVaxProof@fdny.nyc.gov. Upload or attach a picture of your card along with vaccine type and date of shot(s). This is very important so we can estimate the number of booster doses we need to order.
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.
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 two types of Membership.
Life Membership- one time payment of $250.00 gives you a gold RMA Membership Card and our periodic newsletters.
Annual Membership-Annual dues of $25.00 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
[Add Payment for the Lapel Pin(s) with your Dues Check]
(see Lapel Pin above-right)
Both Life and Annual Members will receive Critical Instant Updates as
long as New Member provides a credible E-mail Address.
Lapel Pin, pictured above available for sale: PRICE: $6.00 for one pin or two for $10.00