HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS

New Hep C Treatment Program Available at NYC Health + Hospitals

December 4, 2019 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members suffering with Hepatitis C are now eligible to participate in a pilot program designed to effectively treat the disease and reduce the exorbitant cost of current prescription medications. The new treatment regimen, devised by NYC Health+Hospitals in collaboration with the DC 37 Health & Security Plan, is available to members and dependents under 65 who are covered by the union’s prescription drug benefit, which is administered by OptumRx. The NYC Health+Hospitals program, which typically lasts between 8-to-24 weeks, is designed to encourage patients to stick with its regimen of medication and other parts of the treatment. Participants are assigned Patient Navigators to guide them through the process. To date, 15 members have signed up for the program. The latest Hepatitis C drugs have a 90% percent cure rate of the illness, but are outrageously [More...]

Welcome to DC 37

November 26, 2018 // 0 Comments

At Meetings Around the City, Public Service Workers Are Signing Up With the Union By GREGORY N, HEIRES DC 37 continues to sign up new members under our Leading the Way campaign to promote the benefits of union membership and encourage rank-and-file participation. Last month, DC 37 held five meetings with mid-level city employees whose misclassified job titles had kept them out of the union during the Bloomberg administration but are now eligible to join or re-join. A sixth meeting was also held in November for City University of New York employees, who recently won a new contract. Union Offers Job Security Many workers who signed union membership cards at the meetings indicated that job security was their top reason for joining. Monifa Thomas, a 20-year city employee who is now a senior project manager at the Administration for Children’s Services, described job security as “an [More...]

DC 37 Welcomes Members In New Union-Represented Titles (Open House on Nov. 8)

October 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

By MIKE LEE Recently, DC 37 and the city agreed that the union will represent more than 900 public workers serving in positions categorized as managerial and not covered by the New York City collective bargaining Law. If you are one of the 900 workers whose job was reclassified as a new administrative title represented by the union, please join DC 37 for an open house. A meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 8 from 12 to 2 p.m. at the New York City Dept. of Small Business Services, on the 7th floor, 110 Williams St., in Lower Manhattan. You will learn about the benefit of being part of our union family and find out how DC 37 helps our members at the bargaining table and lobbying at City Hall and in Albany for adequate funding for public services for those most vulnerable in our communities. Find out how our union negotiates for decent wages, paid family leave, overtime, union [More...]

City Unveils Improvements to the HIP HMO Health-Care Plan

October 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 has worked closely with the city and EmblemHealth to create a new model for employee-based health and wellness coverage. EmblemHealth’s new reimagined City of New York HMO Plan aims to offer a health care experience with affordable pricing and ease of use for city workers and their families. One of the enhancements is the new Centers of Excellence program with ties to Hospital for Special Surgery, the top-ranked orthopedic hospital in the nation, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, one of the country’s leading cancer centers. This program will begin on Jan. 1, 2019 for HIP HMO members. Health Coaching Participants in the HMO plan will continue to have access to all of their preventive and specialist benefits. They will be able to coordinate their care and appointments, receive personalized health coaching and care management, and access to the [More...]

98 Percent Vote ‘Yes’ on Contract

August 15, 2018 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES DC 37 members voted overwhelmingly for a contract that provides for a total wage increase of 7.42 percent and preserves their premium-free health-care coverage with no givebacks. Members voted 31,133 in favor and 743 against the contract, an approval rating of 97.6 percent. The mail-ballot vote was tabulated on Aug. 14 at the American Arbitration Association’s office in downtown Manhattan. “Our members have spoken loudly and clearly in favor of a new 44-month economic agreement, which provides for a total pay hike of 7.42 percent, substantial funding for benefits, a new paid family leave plan, and a continuation of premium-free health insurance until at least 2021,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “The 98 percent yes vote was a powerful display of union solidarity.” The contract includes a new paid family leave benefit, which a growing number [More...]

Don’t Like Your Health Plan? October is the Time to Switch

October 2, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES If you wish to change your health-care plan, now is the time to act. The city’s annual health-care “reopener” runs from Oct. 2 to Oct. 31. For city employees who change plans, coverage is effective on the date of their first paycheck in 2018. Retirees can only change their plan in even-numbered years. But they are allowed to change plans in an odd-numbered year if they exercise a one-time exception to that rule. Retiree alert! Beware of aggressive marketing During the annual open enrollment period, retirees are inundated with material from insurance companies and other groups that administer Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplemental plans. Edward W. Hysyk, executive vice president of the DC 37 Retirees Association, urged retirees to sit tight and be very cautious about changing their plan. “The health-care coverage we receive from DC 37 [More...]

Unions, City Meet Target for Savings; Health Care Coverage Still Premium-Free

June 7, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Mission accomplished. The Municipal Labor Committee on May 18 approved the last of a series of coverage changes that will enable the city to save $3.4 billion in employee health care costs. The city and MLC — which represents city unions on health care matters — agreed to the four-year plan in 2015. The saving plan enabled DC 37 to maintain the premium-free health care coverage that members and retirees enjoy through Blue Cross Blue Shield/GHI-CBP and HIP/HMO. “There were doubts in some circles that the union and city could achieve this, but we succeeded,” DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido said. “The plan preserves our premium-free coverage at least through fiscal year 2018.” Here are the changes: ● The co-pay for members enrolled in HIP/HMO who use Urgent Care centers will increase to $50 on July 1. Currently, the co-pay at the centers ranges [More...]

Fighting Big Pharma

May 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES Administrators of the union’s welfare plan are mounting a new legal offensive to keep the rising costs of generic drugs in check. If successful, the court cases would help “correct widespread corrupt practices in the pharmaceutical industry,” said Audrey Browne, associate administrator and counsel of the DC 37 Health & Security Plan, which oversees the union’s drug benefit for over three hundred thousand members, retirees and their dependents. The first lawsuit, scheduled to be heard in Philadelphia federal court, accuses generic drug manufacturers of conspiring to increase the price of a popular generic drug called propranolol, which is used to treat hypertension and prevent heart attacks. The suit seeks a rollback in prices and damages. Two other price rigging cases have also been filed in federal courts in New York and New Jersey against the generic [More...]