On June 8, 2023, the New York City Comptroller’s Office announced it has declined to register the City’s Medicare Advantage contract with Aetna due to a lawsuit which brings into question the City’s authority to enter into the agreement. The lawsuit alleges that providing Medicare Advantage as the only option for retirees violates the City’s obligation to provide health benefits to its retired workers, calling into question whether the City’s procurement rules were followed, whether sufficient funds are available, and whether the City has the necessary authority to enter into the contract. The retirees further allege that, under the Aetna plan, they could face coverage denials and out of pocket costs and lose their current health care providers
Mayor Eric Adams subsequently used executive authority to overrule the Comptroller and register the Medicare Advantage contract to be able to move all city retirees into the MA plan and eliminate traditional Medicare as an option effective September 1. Meanwhile, the class action lawsuit is proceeding, and there are reports that legislation is being introduced on June 22 to require the City to offer retirees a Medigap plan.