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S08388 Summary:

BILL NOS08388B
 
SAME ASSAME AS A07866-B
 
SPONSORHARCKHAM
 
COSPNSRMATTERA, ADDABBO, ASHBY, BORRELLO, BRESLIN, CANZONERI-FITZPATRICK, CLEARE, COMRIE, COONEY, FERNANDEZ, GALLIVAN, GONZALEZ, HELMING, HINCHEY, HOYLMAN-SIGAL, JACKSON, KRUEGER, LANZA, MANNION, MARTINEZ, MARTINS, MAY, MAYER, MURRAY, OBERACKER, PALUMBO, PARKER, RHOADS, ROLISON, SALAZAR, SEPULVEDA, SERRANO, SKOUFIS, STAVISKY, STEC, TEDISCO, WEBB, WEBER, WEIK
 
MLTSPNSR
 
 
Prohibits public employers from diminishing health insurance benefits provided to retirees and their dependents or the contributions such employer makes for such health insurance coverage below the level of such benefits or contributions made on behalf of such retirees and dependents by the public employer as of December 31, 2021.
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S08388 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         8388--B
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                    January 25, 2024
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by Sens. HARCKHAM, MATTERA, ADDABBO, CLEARE, COMRIE, COONEY,
          GALLIVAN, GONZALEZ, HINCHEY, KRUEGER,  MARTINS,  MAY,  MAYER,  MURRAY,
          OBERACKER,  PALUMBO,  RHOADS,  ROLISON,  SEPULVEDA, SKOUFIS, STAVISKY,
          STEC, TEDISCO, WEBB, WEBER, WEIK -- read twice  and  ordered  printed,
          and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Civil Service and
          Pensions  --  committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as
          amended and recommitted to said  committee  --  committee  discharged,
          bill  amended,  ordered  reprinted  as amended and recommitted to said
          committee
 
        AN ACT in relation to protecting the health insurance benefits of  reti-
          rees  of  public  employers  and  contributions  of retirees of public
          employers
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1. This act shall be known as the "Health Equity for Retirees
     2  Act" or "(HERA)".
     3    § 2. 1. On and after the effective date of this act, a public employer
     4  shall not diminish the health insurance benefits  provided  to  retirees
     5  and  their  dependents or the contributions such employer makes for such
     6  health insurance coverage below the level of such benefits  or  contrib-
     7  utions  made  on  behalf  of  such retirees and their dependents by such
     8  public employer as of December 31, 2021.
     9    2. For the purposes of this act:
    10    (a) "diminish" shall mean any change in health care offered that could
    11  potentially make it harder for retirees  residing  anywhere  within  the
    12  United  States,  including  its  territories  and possessions, to access
    13  their health care than before such change was made. These changes  shall
    14  include,  but  are  not  limited  to, increasing the cost of such health
    15  care, reducing contributions made by a public employer, forcing retirees
    16  into Medicare Advantage Plans, forcing them to use health care providers
    17  only from pre-designated panels, or forcing them to wait for pre-author-
    18  ization for medical procedures that are recommended by their health care
    19  providers;
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD11812-05-4

        S. 8388--B                          2
 
     1    (b) "health care benefits" shall mean any and all  aspects  of  health
     2  care coverage offered to retirees and their dependents by public employ-
     3  ers,  including, but not limited to: (i) costs: this includes the amount
     4  of money (on either an absolute  or  proportional  basis)  retirees  and
     5  their dependents are charged for premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and
     6  copayments associated with any health care coverage; (ii) coverage: this
     7  encompasses  the  specific  services  and benefits covered by the health
     8  care  plan,  including  inpatient  and  outpatient  care,   preventative
     9  services,  prescription  drugs, mental health and substance abuse treat-
    10  ment, and vision and  dental  care;  and  (iii)  provider  choice:  this
    11  includes  the  ability  of  retirees  and their dependents to access any
    12  health care provider who accepts Medicare or participates in the offered
    13  plan's network, without restriction;
    14    (c) "public employer" shall mean the following: (i)  the  state  or  a
    15  civil  division  thereof;  (ii) a county, city, town or village; (iii) a
    16  school district, board of cooperative educational  services,  vocational
    17  education  and  extension  board  or  a school district as enumerated in
    18  section 1 of chapter 566 of the laws  of  1967,  as  amended;  (iv)  any
    19  governmental  entity  operating  a  college  or university; (v) a public
    20  improvement or special district including police or fire districts; (vi)
    21  a public authority, commission or public benefit corporation;  or  (vii)
    22  any other public corporation, agency, instrumentality or unit of govern-
    23  ment  which  exercises  governmental power under the laws of this state;
    24  and
    25    (d) "retiree" shall mean a retiree of a public employer.
    26    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately and  shall  be  deemed  to
    27  have been in full force and effect on and after December 31, 2021.
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