Speak Up: Responses on state retiree benefit panel

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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.

A motion to remove Medicare Advantage from consideration was presented by committee vice chair Rep. Paul Baumbach, D-Newark, and opposed by Department of Finance Secretary Rick Geisenberger, who noted that the subcommittee’s job is to evaluate retiree health care options in a fiscally sustainable way. Claire DeMatteis, committee co-chair and secretary of the Delaware Department of Human Resources, said the motion altered the committee’s authority that is limited by state law. The motion that Medicare Advantage be taken off the table was approved. Another motion was passed recommending the state follow its previous format of a three-year contract with two optional one-year extensions.

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?

  • Perhaps the reporting can also note that the Superior Court justice ordered a halt to the implementation of the Medicare Advantage plan that these same Cabinet secretaries concocted in the past two years. — Rep. Paul Baumbach
  • The court halted the process. They did not rule on the merit, only the process. Like they did with the unconstitutional mail-in-voting legislation. — Bob Skuse
  • The justice ruled that the process lacked merit. — Rep. Paul Baumbach
  • State retirees have given 20, 25, 30, 35-plus dedicated years of employment to the state of Delaware in all aspects of work. All retirees should have a say in what will be voted on or presented for consideration. All retirees should be given letters of dates, places and times of these meetings so that they can express their needs and all concerns. — Denise Sloboda Deskiewicz
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