Retiree Prescription Drug Plan Update: No decisions without details!

On September 1, 2019, the Maryland Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issued a letter regarding retiree drug benefits provided by the State. It is clear from reading the letter-the Hogan administration is content with the mess it has created with regard to retiree drug coverage, and will do nothing more to provide the drug coverage promised and needed by retirees and employees eligible for retirement.

Read more about the history in this Maryland Matters Story

The DBM letter accomplishes nothing more than creating additional anxiety among current state employees, especially those close to retirement age. Instead of trying to do what a good and competent employer would do-try to protect and keep its most competent, longer serving employees, The Hogan administration is ignoring the intractable problems presented to its most senior employees and pressuring them to make an enormous decision- whether to retire now, before December 31, 2019– (a) based on drug coverage that may or may not take effect in 2021,(b) based on legislation that may yet be amended further, (c) based on litigation that the Administration acknowledges may continue for years. Instead of taking steps to help long term employees, the Hogan Administration is simply standing back and saying “What a Mess”. 

What is important is what the letter, and the Hogan Administration does not address:

• The Hogan Administration DOES NOT try to properly inform employees about the uncertainty of their drug coverage upon retirement.

• The Hogan Administration makes NO effort to work with the General Assembly to further address and improve retiree drug coverage.

• The Hogan Administration makes NO effort to help manage the litigation with an eye towards fairly treating employees.

AFSCME Maryland calls for the Administration to commit to work with the General Assembly to defer the retirement deadline from December 31, 2019, so that current employees are not compelled to make a decision about their continued State service based on uncertain rights and benefits.

Join our call and sign the petition to support deferring the retirement deadline required by SB946!

Download a paper copy of the petition and this letter to share with your co-workers!