New York City OKs Aetna Medicare Advantage plan for 250,000 retirees

New York City leaders have greenlit an Aetna-run Medicare Advantage plan for the city's retired municipal employees, Gothamist reported March 9. 

The Municipal Labor Committee approved the plan, which has faced opposition from some labor unions and retirees concerned about prior authorization and coverage denials. 

Aetna's plan will begin on Sept. 1 for 250,000 retired New York City workers and their dependents, unless they choose to opt out. Prescription drug coverage begins in January 2024, and the city's existing plan for retirees, SeniorCare, will be discontinued. 

City leaders have been trying to switch the city's health insurance for retired employees to Medicare Advantage for years, which could bring an estimated $600 million in federal subsidies to the city each year, Gothamist reported. 

Aetna rolled back some typical prior authorization requirements for the plan — it will not require prior authorization for any services for 120 days after coverage begins. After that period, Aetna will only require prior authorization for around 20 percent of the services it typically requires prior authorization for. 

Retirees can choose to opt out of the plan for traditional Medicare but will have to pay for any supplemental coverage, Gothamist reported. 

Read more here. 

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