Pheffer Amato Ensures Health Insurance for Spouses and Dependents of Public Employees

South Queens, NY New York State Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-South Queens) had her bill, A.6806, which ensures the continuation of State health benefit plans for unremarried spouses and dependents of public employees, signed into law. Prior to Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato taking on this challenge, State and local government health insurance plans only allowed the continued offering of health insurance if the public employee had at least 10 years of service. For years this has been seen as a problem because public employees like police officers, firefighters, sanitation workers and transit workers, who got injured on the job and had to retire with less than 10 years of service, were not entitled to continued health insurance, nor were their families. That changed through the enactment of Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato’s law.

“As your Assemblywoman, I have always, and will always, do everything I can to make sure public employees and their families are protected,” said Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato. “Through this law, we have solidified our commitment to the families of the men and women who not only protect our State, but also keep us moving forward. If a public employee is injured on the job and required to take an early retirement, their families will always have health insurance. The signing of this bill into law guarantees it!”

The Assemblywoman is a longtime champion for the protection and rights of public employees, and their families. Pheffer Amato serves as the Chair of the New York State Committee on Governmental Employees, which is the leading legislative authority on all public employees in New York, including retirees. In her role she presides over and facilitates legislation and policies for public employees that range in pensions, retirement benefits, and health insurance. She had vocally supported and successfully worked with advocates to bring a lawsuit forward to halt the implementation of the forced switch of over 250,000 City-retirees to Medicare Advantage.