March 2016 Issue
March 06, 2016

New state law safeguards health insurance

Author: By Sue Klug
Source: NYSUT United

NYSUT and its national affiliates — American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO — work to avoid problems for members before they happen.

Although the unions supported the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some provisions created unintended consequences for members which we lobbied to fix.

Here is a recent example affecting small and rural locals:

Gov. Cuomo signed bills A.08300 (Seawright), A.8134-A (Seawright), S.5928-A (Seward) and S.06004 (Seward) on Dec. 28, 2015, which allow small employers to continue purchasing health insurance through large insured consortia or trusts for the next two years. Without the passage of these bills, school districts and municipal employers with 51–100 workers would have been forced to leave insured regional health insurance consortia and trusts in 2016 and pay higher premiums for reduced benefits.

The new law was actively supported by NYSUT's Small and Rural Locals committee and was effectively lobbied for by NYSUT's legislative and political department. NEA and AFT also advocated for federal legislation to make this law possible.