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MCEA Retiree Meeting on Prescription Coverage

State retirees want answers, but the details from state officials seem sparse. That’s why MCEA convened a meeting among state retirees, legislators, and AFT-Maryland. President Linda Day oversaw a meeting where retirees brought their confusions and demands for clarity to the forefront. Many in attendance, including President Day expressed frustration at state officials for poor communication around a plan to change the way the state retirees prescriptions are covered from a state plan to a federal plan. The transition was approved under state law back in 2011 but the change will happen for Maryland retirees on Jan 1, 2019.

Some retirees aren’t happy about it. “This is a justice issue” said Pat Helfrich, a retired state employee and MCEA member, “I don’t want any information on Medicare Part D, I want my benefit back.” She was not the only one to express such frustrations with both the changed and the communication around the change. “I worked for 36 years for the state, it’s a bad trend” Jeffrey Israel said referring to way the decision and communication had been handled by state leaders. “We want to be grandfathered in” he went on to say affirming the frustration so many in attendance had.

Delegate Ben Brooks attended the meeting and acknowledged the “unintended consequences” of the timing of the change. He acknowledged that although he wasn’t in the House of Delegates when the legislation was passed, he’s still happy to work with retirees to mitigate the concerns that they have. The best resource for state retirees is the Maryland Department of Aging. They have counselors that’ll walk state retirees through the process of the sign up to ensure that no one loses prescription drug coverage. The have regional offices in Baltimore city and 21 counties across the state. Their number is (410) 767-1100.

You can access them on the web by clicking here:



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