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RPEA CALL TO ACTION: Legislature Passes Skilled Nursing Bill

Following Unanimous Votes in Each House, it is Time to Urge Governor Hochul to Sign Our Bill

At the end of session, the Assembly followed the Senate’s lead and passed our bill. At some point, the bill will be sent to the Governor to either sign or veto. This bill affects the 225,000 Medicare-primary retirees in the Empire Plan and will affect many other retirees once they turn 65.

The passage of this legislation is a tremendous victory for RPEA. It is OUR bill, we drafted it, and were the only ones lobbying to get it passed. Kudos to Senator Neil Breslin and Assemblymember John McDonald for sponsoring the bill and getting it passed unanimously in each house.

We realize this bill does not affect everyone, but nonetheless, it does impact many of our members. That is why the Board of Directors made it a legislative priority. Below is a sample letter to send to the Governor. Feel free to further personalize the sample letter.

Please contact Governor Hochul using one of these options:

  • Mail to the address listed (preferred)
  • Email the letter to
  • Call the Governor’s office at 518-474-8390, select option 3, then select 1 to leave a voice message or select 2 to speak with a representative (Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Please mention the bill number: S.8192

* * *

Honorable Kathy Hochul
Executive Chamber
Albany, New York 12224

RE: S.8192 (Breslin)

As a retiree from public service covered under NYSHIP’s Empire Plan, this bill personally affects me, and I urge you to sign it into law.

Under the Empire Plan, my benefits are drastically reduced upon becoming eligible for Medicare at age 65 because the Empire Plan stops covering Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) care. As a result, my only remaining SNF coverage is the coverage provided by Medicare, which is for only 20 days and requires a hospital admission of at least 3 days. In contrast, prior to age 65, the Empire Plan provides both active and retired enrollees 120 days of SNF coverage with no such hospital admission requirement.

I continue to pay the same NYSHIP premium every month as an enrollee under age 65. Yet, I get this lesser benefit simply due to my age.

I urge you to end this discriminatory practice and sign this bill into law.

Thank you,

[Name] [Address]

Cc: Edward Farrell, RPEA Executive Director


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