“Given that the Administration and the Municipal Labor Committee are moving forward to implement Medicare Advantage in alignment with the courts and arbitrator’s decisions, the Council is formally considering legislation to preserve retirees’ choice of health insurance rather than have them automatically enrolled in Medicare Advantage as the sole plan on January 29. We are deeply concerned with the challenges in our health care program for municipal retirees and employees. While many of the underlying problems that created this situation require comprehensive solutions from all levels of government, the City must confront this dilemma to the maximum extent possible within its own authority. This must include support for low-income retirees to truly access choice in their healthcare coverage, reigning in the runaway costs of care that created this crisis, and guaranteeing an insurance program that benefits all of our dedicated public servants.

“The Council will consider the proposed legislation to preserve healthcare coverage choice for retirees at a Civil Service and Labor Committee hearing next week that is open to the public and all stakeholders. We are working to examine the major outstanding questions, the details of the Medicare Advantage plan that is moving forward regardless of any potential Council action, and how the City fulfills its health care commitments to all employees and retirees.”