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NYSHIP health insurance for EMS workers

Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis applaud the historic decision by the State Department of Civil Service assisted by Comptroller DiNapoli

Shelley Mayer with Steve Otis, during the announcement of the health insurance extension for ambulance workers in New York.

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Port Chester

Senator Shelley B. Mayer and Assemblyman Steve Otis were joined by Rye Brook Village Administrator Chris Bradbury, Westchester County Emergency Services Commissioner Richard Wishnie, and a group of “Emergency Medical Services” leaders ( EMS) to applaud a landmark policy decision by the New York State Department of Civil Service, in collaboration with the New York State Comptroller’s Office, that allows active members of voluntary ambulance and emergency medical services organizations that serve to one or more municipal corporations are eligible to participate in the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP).

This decision reflects the Office of the Comptroller’s recognition, long championed by Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis, that EMS agencies serve as extensions of municipalities rather than quasi-public organizations. Mayer and Otis introduced legislation last year to address the needs of EMS organizations, and again this year (S4020/A3392).

The policy change, released on February 10, followed meetings Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis held with staff from the Comptroller’s Office and the Department of Civil Service where lawmakers argued that these voluntary ambulance and EMS organizations they should not be judged by the rule. which required that 50% of a group’s funding must come from government sources for employees to be eligible for NYSHIP. Since these entities often receive income from insurance proceeds, the 50% test hides the fact that these entities are extensions of local governments and must be eligible for NYSHIP as participating agencies.

Izq. Comisionado de Servicios de Emergencia de Westchester, Richard Wishnie; el administrador de Rye Brook Village, Chris Bradbury, la senadora Shelley Mayer, el asambleísta Steve Otis, y el comisionado de Seguridad Pública, Michael Kopy (derecha).

“Upon re-examination, this result feels contrary to the spirit of the law. Since many EMS companies act as extensions of one or more local New York State municipalities, the EMD (Employee Benefits Division) has determined that it makes more sense to extend eligibility to organizations such as NYSHIP Participating Agencies (PAs). … As such, admitting EMS and ambulance agencies as a PA would eliminate the need for the three-point test and allow for an easier path to participation in the future.”

State Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “I am very pleased to join Assemblyman Steve Otis and EMS community leaders in celebrating this important victory. This transformative policy decision we are fighting for will lead to better and more affordable health coverage for EMS workers throughout New York. I want to thank Timothy Hogues, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Civil Service, and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli for listening to the voices of those dedicated public advocates who have pushed for this change and for doing the right thing to protect those who make enormous sacrifices. in their communities. A special thanks to Rye Brook administrator Chris Bradbury for his persistent efforts on this critical issue.”

State Assemblyman Otis said, “This is Senator Mayer’s first victory and my effort, working with local officials and first responders across the state, to improve benefits and the legal framework to allow EMS services to recruit and retain staff. , strengthening its important position. as first responders and improve response times. New York State Civil Service Commissioner Timothy Hogues, State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, and their teams deserve enormous credit for listening to our concerns and taking this important action. Kudos to Rye Brook Administrator Chris Bradbury, Westchester Emergency Services Commissioner Richard Wishnie, and the network of officials who have organized around this issue.”

Posted on February 16, 2023



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