A Manhattan judge ruled Thursday that retired municipal workers who opt out of New York City’s controversial new Medicare plan cannot be penalized by Big Apple Mayor Eric Adams financially.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lyle Frank explained the effort by the administration to levy a $191 monthly fee on retirees who want to keep their current coverage instead of enrolling in the new Medicare Advantage Plan runs counter to longstanding local administrative law.
Frank ruled that the law in question requires the city to “pay the entire cost of health insurance coverage for city employees, city retirees and their dependents.”
Frank added that any attempt to impose a premium or other cost for coverage is thereby illegal.
“This court holds that this is the only reasonable way of interpreting this section,” Frank ruled.
The court ruling ended a heated court battle between the city and a group of retired city workers that began last year under former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.
A spokesman of Adams hinted that they might appeal the decision of the court.
“We are reviewing the court’s decision and evaluating our options,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, a group of retired city workers expressed joy over the court’s ruling.
“We wanted to keep our traditional Medicare, which we love,” Sarah Shapiro, a retired city public school teacher who spent 27 years in the Department of Education said.
“And we re so grateful that we will not have the $191 penalty every month, which we cannot afford,” Shapiro added.