Class Action Lawsuit Filed by WMH Against NYC and EmblemHealth/ GHI On Behalf of Retirees Over Illegal Co-pays

NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees

Class Action Lawsuit Filed by Walden Macht & Haran LLP and Pollock Cohen LLP

 Against NYC and EmblemHealth/GHI On Behalf of 183,000 Retirees Over Illegal Co-pays

New York, December 1, 2022 – On November 29, 2022, Walden Macht & Haran and Pollock Cohen filed a class action on behalf of 183,000 retired municipal workers against the City of New York and insurance company EmblemHealth/GHI.  The suit alleges that the defendants are illegally charging co-pays to elderly and disabled retirees enrolled in EmblemHealth/GHI’s “Senior Care” plan.  These senior citizens and disabled first responders have already collectively incurred more than $55 million in co-pays, and many have also suffered non-monetary harm.  Affidavits filed with the lawsuit reveal that the co-pays are preventing many retirees from obtaining important medical care and forcing others to reduce spending on necessities such as medicine, food, housing, heat, transportation, and, in at least one case, home health aides required to help a Parkinson’s patient walk.

The lawsuit alleges that the Senior Care co-pays, which had never been imposed prior to this year, are unlawful for the following three reasons: they are being forced on retirees without their prior consent; they violate a March 2022 court order issued in a previous case brought by the retirees; and they are not allowed under the contract governing Senior Care.

“These co-pays are a transparent and unlawful attempt to shift onto retirees costs that the City and Emblem are responsible for,” said Marianne Pizzitola, President of the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees, one of the plaintiffs. “Retirees earned and paid for their benefits by giving up wage increases and accepting reduced earnings during their careers.  To deprive them of these hard-earned benefits now, in their old age, is reprehensible.”

Because retirees are suffering irreparable harm as a result of the co-pays, they have filed a preliminary injunction motion along with their lawsuit.  “We have asked the Court to immediately halt these co-pays to prevent retirees from suffering any further harm while we litigate this case,” said Jake Gardener, an attorney at Walden Macht & Haran who represents the retirees.

This is the third healthcare-related lawsuit filed jointly by Walden Macht & Haran and Pollock Cohen on behalf of retired public servants.  The previous two—one in New York City and the other in Delaware—both resulted in landmark victories for retirees.


CONTACT: Jennifer Besada,, 212.335.2979

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