New York City continues push for Aetna Medicare Advantage plan

New York City Mayor Eric Adams plans to ask the state's highest court to allow the city to implement an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan for its retired employees, the New York Daily News reported May 21.

On May 21, an appellate court upheld a judge's previous ruling that blocked the city from implementing the contract. A group of retirees sued to block the plan, alleging offering Medicare Advantage as the only option for New York City's 250,000 retired employees violated the city's obligation to provide health benefits to its retired workers. 

The city plans to challenge the ruling, according to the Daily News. 

The contract is worth $15 billion and, if implemented, would be one of Aetna's largest-ever contract awards. 

New York City has been trying to implement a Medicare Advantage contract for retirees since 2021. The proposal faced backlash from retirees, who expressed concerns a Medicare Advantage plan would have higher out-of-pocket costs and more limited networks than the Medigap plan the city previously provided retirees. 

City officials have squabbled over the plan. Mr. Adams has said the plan will save the city $600 million annually. New York City Comptroller Brad Lander previously blocked the implementation of the contract. 

"I was and remain seriously concerned about the privatization of Medicare plans, overbilling by insurance companies, and barriers to care under Medicare Advantage," Mr. Lander said in a May 22 statement. 

A spokesperson for Mr. Adam's office told the Daily News the savings MA could provide the city are "particularly important at a time when we are already facing significant fiscal and economic challenges." 

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