Working together key to derailing state budget threats to retirees
It is still winter but spring and hopefully passage of a new state budget are right around the corner. By the time you read this in April the budget may have passed.
PEF and PEF Retirees are currently engaged in a campaign to prevent any negative state budget effects on members and retirees. We are making calls, writing letters and visiting our legislators. The PEF Legislative Department has prepared fact sheets and letters for members and retirees to use in educating lawmakers about our issues.
This year’s state NYS Executive Budget has three proposals that need to be rejected:
- Retirees Health Premium Contributions: Public Protection and General Government (A.2005/S.1505) Part A — The governor proposes to increase the percentage of health care costs to be paid by retired state employees hired on or after April 1, 2019. Retirees’ contributions would be based on years of service. The sliding scale formula would cover 50 percent of premiums for those with 10 years of service, and would increase to up to 84 percent of premiums for those with 30 years of service.
- Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts: Public Protection and General Government (A.2005/S.1505) Part B — End state reimbursement of Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA).
- Medicare Part B Reimbursement: Public Protection and General Government (A.2005/S1505) Part C — This bill would freeze the reimbursements by amending Section 167-a of the Civil Service Law to provide that, effective April 1, 2019. state reimbursement to eligible retirees and their dependents for the Medicare Part B standard premium shall not exceed $135.50 per month. While this represents an increase for some retirees, the language provides that any future increases would be subject to negotiations in the state budget, meaning they are far less likely to happen.
In recent years, the Executive Budget proposals would have significantly altered the reimbursement of Medicare Part B premiums for retirees covered by the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP). Those proposals have been successfully defeated by the Legislature removing this provision from the final budget. Unfortunately, we must fight this battle again this year!
Regardless of their income, the 2019-20 Executive Budget would amend state Civil Service Law to freeze the reimbursement of Medicare Part B premiums for all NYSHIP retirees with Medicare primary insurance. The proposed change would also eliminate the reimbursement of the Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) for certain retirees. This means that, as the cost of Part B increases each year, retirees will have additional out-of-pocket health care costs.
PEF and PEF Retirees support the state’s full reimbursement of Medicare premiums!
In the past, we have been able to defeat this proposal that would reduce our retirees’ health care benefits because we stood together with all of our partners and demanded it! We win it when we all work together.
Retiring or Retired? Join PEF Retirees now!
Membership equals benefits. Contact PEF Retirees at 800-342-4306, x289 or gro.f1556289781ep@se1556289781erite1556289781RFEP1556289781 DON’T DROP NYSHIP AT 65!