Latest Updates on the Coronavirus Situation

A Message from HTC Pres. Maroko: Our Ongoing Efforts to Get You Eligibility for and Increased Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine

HTC President Rich Maroko announces some hopeful news: After months of making the case to elected officials in New York and New Jersey, both states have expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to include hotel workers.

In his video address, President Maroko describes the effort it took to convince state and local governments to count hotel workers among those essential workers who can get immediate access to the vaccine and he explains our ongoing efforts to increase the supply of vaccines our health centers get and then quickly and efficiently administer the vaccine to our members. Watch now... 

Medgar Evers Opens Vaccine Appointments For Brooklyn Residents

March 6, 2021 10:22 AM

New York City hotel workers are eligible to sign up for appointments at any New York State or NYC vaccination site. If you are a Brooklyn resident and want to try and get an appointment immediately, earlier today, the state run vaccination center at Medgar Evers College opened 5,000 vaccine appointments exclusively for Brooklyn residents. Read more...

Union Victory: NJ Governor agrees to expand vaccine eligibility to include hospitality workers

March 2, 2021 9:15 AM

On Monday, March 1st, Governor Phil Murphy announced that hospitality workers in New Jersey will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning on March 29th. HTC President Rich Maroko and our political team have been advocating for vaccine eligibility for hotel workers in New Jersey and are thrilled by this announcement. Read more...

"Hotel Workers Eligible for COVID Vaccine" - NY1

February 27, 2021 6:58 PM

For several months, HTC President Rich Maroko has been meeting with city and state officials to make the case that hotel workers should be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. On February 26th, Governor Cuomo agreed and opened the door to allow New York City to distribute vaccines to hotel workers in phase 1b. Read more...

BREAKING NEWS: After HTC’s Advocacy, Gov. Cuomo Expands Vaccine Eligibility for Hotel Workers in New York

February 26, 2021 9:57 PM

After months of advocacy by HTC President Rich Maroko and our political team, New York Governor Cuomo announced this afternoon that New York State will expand the current vaccine eligibility to include hotel workers. The order enables local health departments to include hotel workers in their vaccination programs, and the next step is for New York City’s health department to do so.

HTC is now communicating with New York City officials to advocate for vaccines to be made available to hotel workers as soon as possible.

“New York hotel workers seek COVID-19 vaccine in appeal to Cuomo” – The New York Post

February 24, 2021 9:26 AM

Throughout this pandemic, our Union has worked diligently to keep the workers we represent safe on the job. The New York Post has covered our latest effort: advocating to secure access to the COVID-19 vaccine for New York’s hotel workers and ensure a safe reopening of the City’s hotel industry. Read More...

CDC issues nationwide eviction moratorium through March 31, 2021

Updated: January 25, 2021 11:36 AM

Early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a broad nationwide eviction moratorium in order to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. On his first day in office, President Biden extended the CDC’s eviction moratorium through March 31, 2021.

Under the moratorium, eligible tenants cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent until March 31, 2021. Please note: the order does not forgive rent. You are still obligated to pay rent, and can still be evicted after the order expires or for reasons other than nonpayment. Read more...

A New Year’s Message from HTC President Rich Maroko

January 1, 2021 9:50 AM

By HTC President Rich Maroko

Happy New Year. I hope that this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and doing well. As we end this incredibly difficult year and enter 2021, I wanted to give you all a sense of what I expect for our Union in the year ahead. Read more...

New York passes nation’s strongest ban on evictions and foreclosures

December 29, 2020 5:40 PM

On December 28th, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act. The law effectively enacts a 60-day eviction and foreclosure moratorium for all New York tenants and homeowners until February 26, 2021. New Yorkers who are experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic and who submit a hardship declaration form are prevented from being evicted or having their home foreclosed on for even longer, until May 1, 2021.

With the bill’s signing, New York State now has the strongest eviction moratorium in the nation. Read more...

HTC advocates for hospitality workers to be vaccinated early

December 26, 2020 2:41 PM

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two vaccines for emergency use to prevent COVID-19, the first from Pfizer-BioNTech and the second from Moderna. The COVID-19 vaccine will protect individuals from getting sick from this deadly virus and will undoubtedly aid in the economic recovery of our region’s hospitality and gaming industries.

HTC President Rich Maroko has been urging both New York and New Jersey to prioritize hospitality workers in each state’s vaccine distribution plans. Read more...

Holiday hours at the Health Centers

December 23, 2020 3:50 PM

Please be advised that the Brooklyn, Harlem, Midtown, and Queens health centers and pharmacies will be closed on December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1 in observance of the winter holidays. The pharmacies will also be closed on Saturday, January 2. Read more...

New York extends deadline to apply for health insurance starting January 1

December 23, 2020 3:09 PM

The New York State of Health has announced an extension to the deadline to apply for healthcare coverage beginning on January 1st. New York residents now have until December 31st to apply for Medicaid, the Essential Plan, Child Health Plus, or any Qualified Health Plan (including those provided by MetroPlus) for coverage beginning January 1, 2021.

Read more about each of these plans and how to apply here.

Congress passes new stimulus package

December 22, 2020, 7:27 PM

On December 21st, Congress passed its first stimulus package since the Spring, which includes 11 weeks of $300 supplemental unemployment benefits, a second round of direct payments to most Americans, and an extension of the federal eviction moratorium until January 31st

President Trump signed the legislation late Sunday, December 27th. Read more...

Email the Benefit Funds for documentation that your healthcare coverage is ending

December 11, 2020 3:37 PM

If your healthcare coverage with the Industry-Wide Benefits Fund is coming to an end on December 31st and you are enrolling in a new healthcare plan, your new health insurance provider may ask you for a letter showing that your healthcare coverage is ending. You can now email the Benefit Funds for this documentation. Read more...

Find alternative healthcare (GRIWA and Upstate casinos)

Updated December 23, 2020 4:30 PM

We have compiled this guide about the many alternative healthcare options that will be available to workers at GRIWA hotels and the upstate casinos should they lose coverage in the upcoming months.

We encourage you to review this guide to explore which plan will be best for you and your family should your coverage ultimately comes to an end. If you have any questions, or need assistance, you can contact us at (212) 245-8100 and select option #1. Read more...

How does Medicare work?

December 3, 2020 6:00 PM

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for individuals who are 65 or older and certain younger individuals with disabilities. There are four parts of Medicare insurance, each covering specific services: Hospital Insurance (Medicare Part A), Medical Insurance (Part B), Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) and Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D). Read more...

Pension update for retired members

December 2, 2020 3:34 PM

The Benefit Funds recently sent out a Pension Payment Verification letter. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, this form will not be required this year. Please disregard the letter. A formal retraction will be mailed by the Funds. Should you have any questions about the letter please call the Funds at: (212) 586-6400, ext. 4125.

To view the retraction letter being sent by the Funds, please click here.

Harlem and Brooklyn health centers to close Jan 1

December 2, 2020 2:15 PM

The Employee Benefit Funds has announced that the Harlem and Brooklyn health centers will temporarily close on January 1st, 2021, when the emergency funding of the Funds comes to an end. These changes will affect those workers who remain employed or who will have continued access to health coverage through the Funds (including those who choose to pay for COBRA or receive payment for their paid time off.)

Click here to read a letter from Employee Benefit Funds CEO Dr. David Jacobson about the planned temporary closures.

Use New York’s “Find Services” website for information on public benefits

November 25, 2020 2:50 PM

New York State has launched “Find Services”, a new website designed to assist New Yorkers with finding available state and federal benefits and services. By answering a few questions about your household, the website will show you a list of the public benefits and services for which you may be eligible. Read more...

Health centers closed on Thanksgiving, Nov 26 and Friday, Nov 27

November 23, 2020 1:23 PM

Please be advised that all four health centers will be closed this Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

For those workers looking to meet with MetroPlus about their healthcare options, Metro Plus agents will not be at the health centers or at Gertrude Lane Auditorium (at 305 West 44th Street) on Thursday or Friday this week. Read more...