The Appellate Division issued a ruling this past Thursday that found NYSHIP Policy Memorandum 122r3 [prohibiting NYSHIP declination payments when spouse is also covered by NYSHIP] to be null and void. The Court found that the Department of Civil Service did not have the authority to limit contractual health declination payments. The decision impacts everyone (custodians, administrators, teachers) who have a contractual health insurance declination payment.
The Court credited the argument advanced by NYSUT that the policy memo constituted a rule or regulation that needed to be filed with the Department of State, and since it was never filed, it was invalid and that Statue of Limitations never began to run. It was a creative argument around the precedent established in another case that had been filed after NYSUT’s case was filed, but was lost.
As a result of this decision, policy memo 122r3 is now null and void and all contractual declination payments regardless of whether your spouse is enrolled in another NYSHIP plan are enforceable. However, the Attorney General may elect to file an appeal to the Court of Appeals. This may result in district’s delaying reinstating the payments until it is know whether the Attorney General intends to appeal. If the Attorney General does appeal to the Court of Appeal we will of course notify you.
However, as of today, this is a great victory and we are happy that NYSUT was able to salvage their earlier victory.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the office.