The cost of health insurance is at an all-time high and what’s affordable is not always the highest quality of health insurance. Even if you have health insurance, the out-of-pocket costs can be unknown and a surprise to your budget.
In a recent change in health insurance for retired New York City teachers, first responders, including firefighters, EMT professionals and police officers, many of which live on Long Island, their insurance has been changed without a choice. Under the new Medicare supplement plan, Aetna’s Medicare Advantage, retired first responders and others will be required to pay a co-pay for many routine services that had previously required no co-pay. When our 9-11 firefighters signed up to protect, they were promised no cost life-time insurance. It is unfair to change their health insurance now when they need it the most.
Congress can and should intervene. In addition, not all physicians have to accept the plan which requires prior authorizations, resulting in a delay for medical care and a possible denial of outright care.
Many of our 9-11 heroes already suffer and have passed from numerous ailments directly resulting from exposure to carcinogens during the aftermath of the clean-up, including various forms of cancers. They are disabled and receiving cancer treatments on fixed incomes. It’s inhuman to switch their care from long-time doctors that may not accept their new health insurance. They deserve the health insurance they were promised.
The new change in health insurance plans was never vetted out publicly through numerous public hearings that would have given our heroes a chance to share their opinions. The original health insurance that teachers were promised are considered vested benefits and were agreed upon in a collective bargain agreements.