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Stop the Medicare bait-and-switch: NYC is poised to harm its retirees

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New York City government has decided to save money by forcing its 245,000 retirees and their dependents to leave traditional Medicare and move to a private Medicare Advantage plan. Most retirees today are on Medicare, which covers 80% of the cost of their care. The city pays for a supplemental Medigap plan that picks up the rest.

Starting Jan. 1, the city’s retirees will be switched to a Medicare Advantage plan funded by the federal government but run by two private insurance companies, Empire Blue Cross (part of Anthem, a for-profit national chain) and EmblemHealth, a New York-based non-profit. This so-called “alliance” purports, somehow, to provide the same quality of care that retirees now enjoy while spending, according to current estimates, nearly 25% less. Anyone who believes that might like to purchase a bridge in Brooklyn.

Since its inception in 1965, Medicare has proven to be a just and efficient system for covering medical expenses. It provides insurance to everyone over age 65 as well as those with certain chronic illnesses and disabilities, regardless of race, ethnicity,........

© NY Daily News

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