State Health & Benefits Cuts
State Retiree and Active Workers Health & Job Benefit Cuts
I am opposed to several sections in HB 72, SB87 and SB628 involving proposed cuts to retired State employee health and job benefits.
I am a 73 year old lifelong resident of Washington County. I am also a retired veteran of the Maryland State Police proudly serving our State for 33 years.
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I carefully chose State service instead of working in the private sector with the belief that I would be assured steady health and job benefits to keep my wife and me feeling more financially secure as we live out our lives.
For many years the State has implied guarantees to State employees concerning health and job benefits without fear of financial hardship that is now facing us because of the sudden proposed changes that now face the retired State workforce.
A proposed provision in HB 72 and SB 87 allows the State to establish separate and inequitable difference in health insurance benefit coverage for retirees that differs from those for active state employees.
Proposed prescription drug coverage provisions in SB 628 show a drastic difference in coverage between active and retired State employees. This disparity would cause significant adverse financial impact especially with State retirees who are on fixed incomes and do not receive full social security benefits. This will cause many of us to struggle to make ends meet.
As depicted in SB 628 any change in the current (COLA) Cost of Living Adjustment structure would aggravate even more the financial life altering burden on active and retired State workers making it difficult to keep pace with rising inflation.
Another proposed provision calls for the discontinuance of prescription drug benefits for any Medicare eligible State retiree in Fiscal Year 2020 which would have an extraordinary adverse impact on those affected especially with the uncertainties and court challenges to the recently enacted Federal health care plan.
All of these severe cuts will discourage future and current qualified state workers who are depending on their future with State service. These cuts will jeopardize the chance of joining or remaining with the State workforce. Instead, qualified individuals will choose careers with the private sector.
Allen E. Swope
14606 Falling Waters Road,
Williamsport, Maryland 21795