The Retiree Healthcare Benefits Advisory Subcommittee, tasked with providing recommendations on proposals for retired state workers’ coverage, met Aug. 24 and considered several motions opposed by committee members who are part of the governor’s administration.
The subcommittee meets again Sept. 28, and its report is due to Gov. John Carney and the legislature by Oct. 1.
How much say should state workers have over what the state offers them in retirement benefits? What is currently missing from the equation that should be considered?
- We were promised excellent retirement benefits for working for less salary. The state attempted to push a Medicare Advantage plan through without retirees and current employees noticing. Medicare Advantage is not what we were promised and would harm retirees. The state of Delaware needs a workable retirement benefit, such as Medicfill, because this one benefit was promised to employees and now they want it to be removed. — Shawn Marie Nau
- The issue is not about “say.” I worked for the University of Delaware for 27 years. I expected my health benefits to be what was promised to me. Does the state of Delaware keep its promises or not? Medicare Advantage is a scam that benefits only insurance companies, not retirees. — Kathy Minkenger
- The assumption by any legislative members of the committee that the majority of retirees don’t want a Medicare Advantage plan is absurd. The majority of Medicare recipients nationwide have chosen Advantage plans. A handful of retirees was allowed to dictate to all of us last year, and we were denied the opportunity to have an Advantage plan. We need a fiscally sound program that adequately covers the needs of retirees. — Bob Skuse
- Not one retiree has come forward at any of the committee meetings to say that they want Medicare Advantage. On the other hand, hundreds of retirees have expressed their opposition. The reason so many Medicare recipients nationwide are on Medicare Advantage is because employers have forced it on them because it’s free to the employer. You get what you pay for. — Karen Peterson
- I gave over 37½ years to the state of Delaware. My health suffered as a result of that commitment. I stayed with the job and low pay because of the benefits promised. Now, when I need my health care benefits more than ever, the state wants to break their commitment to its retirees. No! This is so wrong in every way! It has repeatedly been proven that Medicare Advantage plans are a major disadvantage to the people who have them. These plans do not serve the people. They make the rich insurance companies much richer. Darn right myself and every other retiree should have a say regarding their Medicare being forcibly taken away from them! — Patty Ditto
- My retirement letter from the state of Delaware has a paragraph including this: “Delaware Law mandates that you, your spouse, and eligible dependents elect Medicare Parts A and B when eligible.” We were not notified of any changes until we received the Medicare Advantage package we were supposed to sign up with in the mail. Morally and ethically, how can the governor’s appointees change plans, especially without transparency? Medicare Advantage plans want to take my Medicare money to bolster their profits. No thanks to privatizing Medicare. State employees and retirees should have what we were promised. The state should honor its commitments to those who serve and who have served. — Kathy Stewart Aldridge
- 100% agree. — Jennifer MacDonald
- Retirees expect to receive what they signed up for. Retirees deserve to receive what they signed up for. Medicare Advantage is not what we expect or deserve. Every comment here that supports our continued Medicfill plan and does not support Medicare Advantage for reasons stated (not to mention the plethora of press and research nationwide that documents the problems with MA plans) should be heard loud and clear by Gov. John Carney, his Cabinet and the legislature. — Joann Browning
- Remember the Medicare Advantage plan commercials on television? They sound too good to be true. Only an idiot would support a Medicare Advantage plan. — Bob Smith
- Medicare Advantage plans work well only if you never get seriously ill. There is a good summary of the plan’s pitfalls https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/010816/pitfalls-medicare-advantage-plans.asp. As others have commented here, the state is reneging on its promise to its retirees by pushing an inferior option on us without our consent. I’m glad that there are at least some members of our state legislature who are willing to stand up to our governor and his Cabinet secretaries. — Louis L. Hirsh