RPEA Successful on Several Fronts
The 2017 Legislative session produced some victories for RPEA. In April, we were successful I defeating two of Governor Cuomo’s proposals which would have hurt retirees who participate in the New York State Health Insurance Plans (NYSHIP). The first proposal would have cut the Medicare reimbursement amount, and the second one would have completely eliminated the IRMAA reimbursement. These were indeed significant victories.
Regarding our members who are local government retirees, at the end of session we were successful in having both houses pass a bill which would require 90 days notice before a locality could change provisions in a retirees’ health care plan. There is currently no statutory requirement for any notice. This bill will be transmitted to the Governor before the end of the year. Governor Cuomo vetoed such a bill last year, and are hopeful that we can convince him to sign it this year.
Two of our other bills passed the Senate, but not the Assembly. The first would assure that all Medicare NYSHIP charges are reimbursed, including part D prescription coverage. The second bill would increase the maximum allowable earnings from $30,000 to $35,000 for retirees under 65 who return to government service. We very much appreciate the support of the Senate on these bills, and will continue to press the Assembly to take action next session.
The other bills in our legislative program did not pass either house, although several were reported from their initial committee. All of our bills and their respective status are now listed and may be viewed at any time. You will also find our memorandum of support for each bill.
This was our first session with our new Legislative Representative Kevin Cleary, as well as his associates Tim Sheridan and David Langdon. We are encouraged with the results this session and look forward to achieving even more success in the future.