Delaware Working Group Recommends Changes to State Retiree Healthcare Benefits, Including Medicare Advantage Plan Elimination

Dover, Delaware – The Retiree Healthcare Benefits Advisory Subcommittee has recommended that Delaware no longer consider a Medicare Advantage plan for state retiree healthcare benefits. The working group was established by the state’s General Assembly a year ago to address concerns about healthcare benefits for current and retired state workers and the growing unfunded liability for those benefits. This recommendation comes after a proposed transition to a Delaware-specific Medicare Advantage plan faced strong opposition from state retirees and a court challenge by RISE Delaware.

In addition to the recommendation regarding the Medicare Advantage plan, the working group put forth several other recommendations. These include continuing to contribute 1% of the general fund to the Other Post Employment Benefit fund, increasing OPEB pre-funding, ensuring current Medicare-eligible and pre-Medicare state retirees and employees will be entitled to Special Medicfill/Rx benefits, limiting changes to plan design and eligibility requirements for workers hired after a certain date, and soliciting public comment before adopting the final proposal for retiree healthcare plans.

The working group also highlighted the need to research and measure the cost of state-sponsored healthcare benefits for different subgroups, as well as to address the issue of healthcare pricing in Delaware. This includes making statutory, regulatory, and administrative changes to bring more transparency, consistency, affordability, and sustainability to healthcare prices and price growth by 2024.

The recommendations put forth by the working group aim to address the concerns and challenges surrounding state retiree healthcare benefits in Delaware. By considering the needs of current and retired state workers, as well as the state’s financial obligations, the working group seeks to ensure the sustainability and affordability of healthcare benefits for all parties involved. The recommendations will now be under consideration for potential implementation in the near future.