>Medicare Part B Reimbursement and Health Insurance Under Attack:In his current (June 4, 2010) Fiscal Year 2010-11 Budget Extender bill, Governor Paterson has decided to force State employees and retirees to share in the cost of reimbursing Medicare eligibles for their Part B premium. The extender bill calls for this to be accomplished by adding the cost of Medicare Part B reimbursement to the cost of health insurance coverage provided through the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP). The total costs will then be shared by the State and its employees and retirees enrolled in NYSHIP. State employees retiring on or after January 1, 1983 contribute 10% of the cost of individual health coverage and 25% of dependent coverage. Both active and retired State employees will be forced to pay increased insurance costs, because of this unilateral change by the Governor.

For over forty-four years, the law, rules and regulations have been rigorously implemented. The statutory language and the legislative intent on this very issue is and has been quite clear. When in 2005 Governor Pataki tried to gut Civil Service Law Section 167-a, Reimbursement for medicare premium charges, the courts (in 2006) reaffirmed existing law, the legislative intent behind it and the implementing rules and regulations.

Take action now (use our ACTION LINE ( http://www.unionvoice.org/OMCEActionLine/home.html )service) and urge the Governor to re-think this latest attack on your benefits as a State employee. And contact your legislator too, again using our ACTION LINE ( http://www.unionvoice.org/OMCEActionLine/home.html )service, to fight this assault on both active and retired State employees. We will post updates on this issue here as developments warrant.