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New York Alliance for Retired Americans WNY Chapter of NYSARA
Stephen Muscarella, President
NYS PEF Retirees


With More Than 500,000 Retired Union Members Living Across New York State Today, Including More Than 100,000 Right Here in Western New York, is Proud to be Working With the Representatives of the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Alliance For Retired Americans (NYSARA) in Order to Provide Union Retirees With a Variety of Labor News and Information They Need and Just Won’t Find Anywhere Else.

The Western New York Chapter of the New York Alliance For Retired Americans Serves as the Base for Providing Union Retirees a Voice that Can Be Heard.

Stephen Muscarella is NYSARA’s President Here in Western New York and Also Serves as President of the New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF).

For More Information on the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Alliance For Retired Americans and How You Can Get Involved, Contact Stephen Muscarella Directly Via E-Mail at

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Union Retiree News From The Alliance For Retired Americans: Today Is February 14th - Valentine’s Day, So Go Ahead And Tell Congress to Have a Heart!

Also: Alliance State Presidents Urge President Obama To Protect Seniors, If A Hospital Classifies Your Visit As An ‘Observation Stay,’ You May Get A Big Bill & Affordable Senior Health Insurance To Supplement Medicare

Published Thursday, February 14, 2013 9:00 am
by Alliance For Retired Americans

Today Is February 14th - Valentine’s Day, So Tell Congress to Have a Heart!

Today – Thursday, February 14th - is Valentine’s Day.  It’s also a Call-In Day on Capitol Hill. “Alliance Members are urged to call Congress at 888-659-9401 and tell their Congressional Representatives to, ‘Have A Heart: Oppose Benefit Cuts To Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and Close Loopholes for Wall Street and the Richest Two-Percent of Americans!’” Alliance For Retired Americans President Barbara Easterling is urging all.  But before you make that call, you can get a flyer loaded with additional information.  Go to or you can go to the Alliance’s Facebook Page at:


In Group Letter, Alliance State Presidents Urge President Obama To Protect Seniors

Congressional Republicans are taking the Economy hostage again - threatening to blow it up unless vital services for Seniors are cut.  Last week, President Obama warned Republicans would seek to replace the Sequester (Automatic Cuts currently scheduled to take effect) with Cuts to Programs such as Social Security and Medicare, while refusing to Raise New Tax Revenue.  The Alliance is sending a Letter from all of the State Presidents to President Obama, urging him to remain strong and Protect Seniors.  In the letter, which is available at, the State Alliance leaders say: “We are concerned, Mr. President, that many in Washington will try to take advantage of the Nation’s Current Fiscal Situation and cause Permanent Damage to the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Programs.  We strongly urge you to resist such efforts.”  The Alliance also weighed in on two other Issues important to Seniors, sending a letter supporting U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s (Democrat-Minnesota) Bill, S. 117, to require Medicare Part D Drug Negotiation.  The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 - which created the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program - explicitly forbids the Government from Negotiating Lower Prices for Medicare Beneficiaries.  Senator Klobuchar’s Legislation amends that Law to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to Negotiate Lower Prices, saving American Taxpayers billions of dollars.  To see the Letter, go to  In addition, the Alliance also sent a Letter to all Members of the U.S. House, urging them to vote against an amendment to the “Require a PLAN Act,” H.R. 444.  “The Amendment supports using the recommendations of the Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson plan as a basis for achieving Budget Requirements,” Alliance Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks said.  Go to to see the Letter.  The Amendment failed, 348-to-75.  For a Vote Tally, go to



If A Hospital Classifies Your Visit As An ‘Observation Stay,’ You May Get A Big Bill

Medicare Recipients who need more time to recuperate after leaving the Hospital could be hit with unexpected expenses, if they don't qualify for the Standard 20-day Stay in a Nursing Home.  This is often because their Hospitalization was billed as an Outpatient Observation, instead of an In-Patient Admission.  Medicare has recently changed its policies to classify many Hospital Stays previously constituted as In-Patient Stays as Out-Patient Stays.  These include some Hospital Stays that involve Major Bone Fractures and the Patient remaining in the Hospital for several days.  Under normal circumstances, Medicare Recipients who require Additional Care after a Hospital Visit are entitled to a 20-Day Stay in a Nursing Home, as long as their Hospitalization lasted at least three days.  However, if their Hospital Stay was classified as Out-Patient, rather than In-Patient, Medicare does not pay for the Nursing Home Stay, which can cost hundreds of dollars a day.  To see The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s write up of the story, go to  If you’ve been affected by a High-Observation Status Bill, please let the Alliance know at



Affordable Senior Health Insurance To Supplement Medicare

Affordable Insurance supplemental to Medicare is available through the Retiree Health Plan endorsed by the Alliance for Union Retirees.   The Open Enrollment Period is currently in effect through February 28th, 2013!  During this period, these Medicare-Eligible Retirees and their Spouses are guaranteed acceptance with no waiting periods, regardless of Pre-Existing Health Conditions.   If you have questions or would like to Enroll in the Program, call 1-866-298-9117.  You can also visit to get more information.


Leave a Comment provides the following links to a number of helpful and useful Union Plus Programs:
Consumer Reports Health and Best Buy Drugs:
Health Savings Programs:
Call 1-877-570-4945 or visit
Hospital Care Grants:
Medical Bill Negotiation Service:
On-line Prescription Discount Card:
Wellness Programs:
Visit, which provides an array of information on a number of money-saving programs that can keep your family and finances in good health: