The following letter to Labor Commissioner Renee Campion and Municipal Labor Committee Chairman Harry Nespoli is reprinted here with its author's permission.
Dear Commissioner Campion and Chairperson Nespoli: Thank you both for your recent responses to COMRO's request to participate in reviewing the proposals for Medicare Advantage plans to replace our current Medicare Part A and B coverage.
COMRO requested that Edward Hysyk, our second vice chairperson, president of the Retirees Association of DC 37 and former president of DC 37 Local 2627 be appointed to the MLC Steering Committee that is reviewing the proprietary responses. Mr. Hysyk is able to speak as both a user of the benefits and a responsible labor leader within DC 37 and COMRO.
However, this request was rejected by Harry Greenberg of the firm representing the MLC in his April 23, 2021 letter.
We continue to receive inquiries from hundreds of retirees wondering how this will affect them, because health care costs continue to be the greatest threat to our economic well-being. Many of their questions focus on how much will it cost them individually in out-of-pocket co-pays and premiums to save the city $500 million?
Will they be able to see the same doctors at no additional costs? Will there be gatekeepers preventing them from receiving the same services they now receive from straight Medicare?
Therefore, we request that the attached 22 questions be provided to the negotiators and technical reviewers for discussion with the candidates. We would appreciate written responses to each of our concerns.
These questions are the product of representatives from various retiree chapters who have experience and expertise in health-care programs and reflect their insights into what will create the best product—one that preserves or improves our current benefits without increasing the costs to the thousands of retirees trying to live on limited income.
We look forward to your detailed responses.
Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations Of New York City
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