Health Benefits

Important changes to HIP’S HMO plan

Changes to HIP’s HMO health benefit plan took effect on July 1, 2017. These changes were negotiated by the city and the Municipal Labor Committee, the umbrella group of municipal labor unions of which the UFT is a member, as part of the unions’ commitment to achieve health care savings in the most recent round of collective bargaining.

Public school educators and all other New York City municipal employees continue to have access to health coverage without an annual premium. HIP subscribers may continue to see their primary care doctor with no copay if the doctor is from the HIP Preferred network and with a $10 copay if the doctor is not from the HIP Preferred network.

HIP subscribers may also access, free of charge, all preventive health care such as routine physicals, vaccinations, colonoscopies and mammograms. Birth control medicines and prenatal vitamins will also still be available at no cost.

The following changes to the HIP HMO health benefit plan took effect on July 1:

$50 copay to visit an Urgent Care Center. You can receive treatment for a non-emergency on weekends, after office hours or whenever your doctor is away without going to the emergency room. Sign in at to find an urgent care center in the HIP HMO network that is conveniently located.

$150 copay to visit the emergency room. One of the most expensive forms of care is hospital-based emergency room visits, which should be used only in a genuine emergency. If you are admitted to the hospital, you won’t pay this fee. You will only pay your hospital fee.

New ID cards were mailed in June to all HIP subscribers.

If you have any questions, call EmblemHealth at 1-800-447-8255, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Visit or the City of New York Office of Labor Relations website at for more information

More coverage for opioid treatment drugs

Following a new state mandate, EmblemHealth and the other New York City employee health plans will now cover members for medicines used to treat substance-use disorders, including medicines usually prescribed for opioid addiction and dependence. These medicines, along with counseling and behavioral therapies, can successfully treat these disorders and help with recovery. Visit your health plan’s website or contact a representative for a list of covered opioid medicines and the copays.

Members may have to pay a portion of the cost for these medicines. You can contact your health plan for information regarding your out-of-pocket cost for these medications.

New Optional Rider Rates Effective July 1, 2017

The optional rider rates for the health plans have been finalized and will be effective
July 1, 2017. Due to the delay in the finalization of the rates which occurred after the
in-service payroll for the summer was completed, the city was not able to apply the new rates in the summer checks. However, they were able to apply the rates to July pension checks. 

We are expecting a “catch-up” applied to the in-service payrolls following the summer as has happened in the past. As soon as we have confirmation as to how this will be applied, we will share that information.

GHI-CBP July 1, 2016 July 1, 2017
Individual (In-service) $5.49 $5.48
Family (In-service) $13.91 $13.89
Individual (Retiree) $120.49 $110.98
Family (Retiree) $220.91 $202.89
Medicare $109.05 $109.25
HIP Prime HMO    
Individual (Retiree) $157.60 $199.25
Family (Retiree) $386.12 $488.14
HIP VIP Medicare    
Individual Only $155.47 $155.47

See the chart for all other plans

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