Retirees Urge Legislature to Reject Budget Proposal

Testifying before the Joint Fiscal Committees hearing on the Executive Budget, Jack McPadden, President of the Retired Public Employees Association (RPEA), called upon the Legislature to reject those portions of the budget which would impose significant premium increases upon State retirees who participate in the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP).

McPadden stated, “The most egregious part of the budget is there so called “capping” of the Medicare Part B premiums at the December 31, 2016 levels. It belies the fact that on January 1, Medicare premiums increased so what is proposed as a “cap” is actually a “cut” in benefits to the entire 150,000 Medicare eligible recipients in NYSHIP.”

“What makes this proposal so particularly odd is that in December, the Department of Civil Service sent a letter to all Medicare eligible enrollees stating that effective January 1, it would be reimbursing at the new, higher rate. Now, less than one month later, the Governor proposes going back to the prior, lower rate, effective May 1. Retirees should not be constantly subjected to these games,” McPadden continued.

He noted, “The Governor states that these cuts are necessary because the NYSHIP costs for retirees ‘exceed the benchmark growth rate of 2% per year’. Here’s a news flash for the Governor, health insurance for ALL participants exceeded 2% a year. The justification just doesn’t hold water.”

McPadden concluded, “Comptroller DiNapoli confirms that retirees are vital participants in the state economy, generating $12 billion in annual economic activity. Retirees deserve to be treated fairly.”

Click to read the Full Budget Testimony