for His Work to Expand Medicare Access for Retired First Responders
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Today, Congressman Malinowski received the 2019 Policymaker of the Year award from the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) for his work to expand access to Medicare to retired first responders. NCPERS is the largest trade association for public sector pensions; managing the retirement funds of seven million retirees and nearly 15 million active public servants.
In 2019, Congressman Malinowski introduced the Expanding Health Options for Early Retirees Act, which allows retired first responders—including police officers, firefighters, and EMTs—to buy into Medicare beginning at age 50. First responders often retire earlier than other workers and can experience gaps in coverage until they become eligible for Medicare at 65. This legislation ensures that retired first responders who are 50 and older will have access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance—regardless of whether their pension plan provides for coverage upon retirement. NCPERS was among the first groups to endorse this bill.
“I am grateful to the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems for being one of the earliest supporters of this bill, and I am honored to receive this award today,” said Congressman Malinowski. “I look forward to continuing my work with NCPERS to ensure that when first responders retire, they have access to the quality and reliable health coverage they have earned and deserve.”