|The Murphy Administration’s recent agreement with public sector unions – specifically the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) – to convert retirees in the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) to Medicare Advantage failed to provide protections for senior citizens whose primary care physicians are not covered by the new plan.
My grandmother, a retired school nurse and teacher of the year who devoted 29 years of service to students in the Long Branch Public Schools, now wrestles with the uncertainty of the future of her health care because her general practitioner is among the medical professionals no longer recognized as in-network by SEHBP.
It is unacceptable that Murphy and the NJEA would subject senior citizens to a predicament where they would need to find a new health care provider who does not possess intimate knowledge of the patient’s medical history. Medical plans for elderly, retired educators should have been grandfathered.
While action must be taken to reduce New Jersey’s unaffordable, ballooning pension and health benefits costs, the state and the unions that claim to fiercely advocate for their members have a responsibility to ensure retirees, who earned and rely on the benefits they were promised, are not adversely impacted.