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August 18, 2023

New York County Court Permanently Enjoins New York City/Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan

On August 11, 2023, a New York County court issued a permanent injunction preventing New York City from transferring health benefits for over 250,000 city retirees from traditional Medicare to an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan. The permanent injunction follows a preliminary injunction issued by the court on July 7, 2023. To support both injunctions, the court found that requiring retirees to switch plans would violate New York City Administrative Code Section 12-126, which commits the city to paying the entire cost of retirees’ health care coverage. The court also found that the doctrine of promissory estoppel barred the city’s actions, as the city had previously promised retirees a certain level of health benefits. 

The city had been planning to transfer coverage for retirees and their dependents to the Aetna MA plan by September 1. While it is unclear how the city will proceed with retiree health benefits going forward, the city has filed an appeal notice

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