NY City Retirees Fighting To Have Healthcare Benefits Restored As City Changes To Inferior Health Plan – Interview With Marianne Pizzitola Of NYC Org For Public Service Retirees

Marianne Pizzitola is fighting for the long-promised health insurance benefits for NYC municipal workers. Many people take jobs with the City of New York based on the promise that they and their loved ones will have healthcare during their retirement.

View the full interview on Youtube:

 

The City made an agreement through the Municipal Labor Council, with the cooperation of the unions, to change all workers’ health insurance plans to a privatized Medicare “Advantage” plan. The financial burden this new health plan would cause is massive.

The new plan makes it difficult, and often impossible, for City workers to get the healthcare that their doctor has recommended, due to the new plan having a different fee structure and the necessity for prior authorizations for nearly everything – including medications.

Keep reading for more details about this change, and the fight to keep the healthcare plan that City workers were promised when they took their jobs, especially in 2014, when they were asked to forgo raises because they would have excellent benefits.

To start with, there are fewer doctors in the network, so workers will often have to change doctors or see their doctor out of network – at a higher cost.

Most of the prior authorizations with this new plan are rejected.

Those workers who want to opt-out of their being placed into the plan automatically have to pay an additional $200 per month per person, just to keep the insurance plan they have now.

A large number of these former City workers took those municipal jobs, which usually paid less than their private-sector counterparts, for the health benefits and retirement pension that was promised to them when they got those jobs.

Now, years later, the City is changing the deal.

Marianne Pizzitola helped found a group that is essentially a union for retirees, called the NYC Organization of Public Service retirees. The group has started several lawsuits, and they have won the first of them, and the City’s appeal.

All retired and current City workers are welcome to join this group, in order to fight for their healthcare, benefits, and the healthcare of future City workers.

Update 12/28/22: To sign the petition to ask the City Council not to amend Administrative Code Section 12-126, visit change.org here 

You can also find a letter template at the same link to send to the City Council speaker and Mayor Adams.  Writing to your City Council member or to the Mayor is important, in addition to signing the petition.

Banner Image: Video cover image. Image Credit – Staten Islander News Organization

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15 Comments

  • Magnificent Zero Magnificent Zero says:

    This entire thing seems crazy. TBH, I’m glad I didn’t get a union job.

    • Kanye Stan Kanye Stan says:

      It’s a good living for some people.

      Really depend on what you retire at.

      If you tap out at a low salary its not worth it.

      So you stay on but the job has to be worth the time like police.

      • Magnificent Zero Magnificent Zero says:

        True. The police have it made. My uncle is a cop. I know he’s going to retire at a way higher rate of pay than a city office worker. It is a more demanding and dangerous job. The unions should have some liability for making false promises. It just invalidates the whole thing.

  • CRANK CRANK says:

    I’m retired. My pension doesn’t keep up with inflation. I don’t regret my working days but the unions really suck for retirees across the board.

  • Avatar Joel L. Frank says:

    I would like to bring the following facts to your attention:
    The 403(b) plan (“the plan”) of the Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York is a voluntary Defined Contribution savings/investment plan. The plan supplements the TRS Defined Benefit pension which has been operational since 1917. The city does not contribute to the 403(b) plan. One of the plan’s investment options gives the 403(b) participant the opportunity to lend his/her 403(b) savings to the city at a guaranteed interest rate of 7% for teachers or 8.25% for non-teachers. These rates have been paid since July 1, 1988. This is stunning inasmuch as the city can borrow money at about 2-3%. This 34-year-old practice must come to an end lest the city continues to waste billions of dollars every year while jeopardizing its ability to pay TRS pensions.

    Additionally, the participant funds his/her 403(b) account on a pre-tax basis. This means withdrawals are taxable. The State, however, treats the plan as a “pension plan” which, clearly, it’s not. This treatment makes withdrawals from the plan exempt from the State’s personal income tax. Every dollar going in is tax-deferred while every dollar coming out is tax-exempt. This is utter nonsense.

    Publication 36 published by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance provides a list of public employee pension plans that are exempt from the State’s personal income tax. The 403(b) plan of the Teachers’ Retirement System of the City of New York is on the list. See page 12. This decades old practice must, also, come to an end lest the city continues to leave tens of millions of dollars of uncollected tax revenue on the table each and every year.

  • Avatar hope you guys win says:

    hope you guys win

  • Avatar J. HECHT says:

    This is a serious disincentive to anyone in unions. What is the point of paying dues if they forget about you when you retire? This is just a symptom of our amoral world. Sorry, it is true.

  • Avatar JEFF says:

    I HAVE A COMPLAINT WHY ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE ALLOWED TO SAY ALL THIS JUNK IN THE COMMENTS I MEAN WHY NO MODERATION IT SEEMS LIKE NOBODY STAYS ON TOPIC IF THE COMMENT IS NOT ON TOPIC PLEASE DO NOT PRINT IT

    • StatenIslander.org_Editor StatenIslander.org_Editor says:

      Jeff, we actually do moderate the comment sections on all articles on the Staten Islander. However, we let people have opinions, whether we agree with them, or not.

      When we moderate, we hold all comments and review them with real people in our office doing the work. We are only looking for offensive language, bad links, bot accounts, hate speech (as defined by law), as well as anything that provides personal details, about the user, or anyone else. No self-doxing, either.

      We definitely aren’t sitting here picking and choosing comments based on what you say. We’re truly sorry that you aren’t finding the comment section interesting. Perhaps you could begin a discussion with our other readers about the article? Just a thought…there are many Staten Islanders here who enjoy the opportunity to have a discussion in a public forum where people can say what they feel.

      -E.S., Junior Editor

      • The Liar The Liar says:

        So you preserve free speech by stifling it? Makes a lot of sense to me.

        *shrugs*

      • Magnificent Zero Magnificent Zero says:

        My friend has thoroughly tested the limits of what your news outfit will post.

        For anyone interested:

        The Staten Islander will take curse worse and asterisk them out. Not sure if that’s automatic or if these poor souls have to do it by hand? I’d guess that part is automated by now.

        As far as ideas, they definitely do no censor.

  • […] announcement is being awaited.  For more up-to-date information, please view our article about the interview with Marianne Pizzitola, which contains more current […]

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