Maryland State Retirees Fight To Keep Prescription Drug Benefits - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland State Retirees Fight To Keep Prescription Drug Benefits In Lawsuit Against State

Posted: Updated:
(Photo: CBS) (Photo: CBS)

MARYLAND - Last summer Maryland state retirees were informed that their prescription drug benefits were in jeopardy, but now some are fighting back to keep their coverage. 

Ken Fitch, a Baltimore retiree, was prompted to take legal action against the state after he received a letter saying he would no longer have his benefits in January 2019.  Once Fitch discovered his insulin prescriptions would jump from hundreds to thousands of dollars per year, he hired a lawyer.

"Mine alone would go over 11 grand, close to 12 a year. Today with the state coverage I'm paying $800 a year total for all of my medications," Fitch said. 

Fitch hired attorney Deborah Hill to assist him in the legal process.  Fitch and Hill were granted an injunction from a federal judge in October 2018 that halted any action until a judge could hear the lawsuit. The two are now gathering plaintiffs to file for class action certification later this month. 

Fitch and Hill held a meeting on Monday in Easton to meet with state retirees to inform them of their lawsuit and update them on the benefits status.

Valerie Neal, a Maryland Auto Insurance Fund retiree, says it's unfair to take these benefits away from people that worked hard for them. 

"To tell us out of the clear blue sky that we no longer have this? It's ludicrous," Neal said. 

Fitch is worried that without these benefits, state retirees will have to choose prioritize their prescriptions. 

"I know for a fact some of these people will pick a roof over there head and food before they take their medications. They'll push that aside. And if you don't take your medications you know what the alternative is and that's the sad part," Fitch said. 

In a statement to WBOC, Gov. Larry Hogan's Office said:

"Ongoing legal action currently prevents any changes to retiree prescription benefits, and the governor is committed to working with the legislature to devise a permanent solution to ensure our state retirees have access to affordable health care."

Hill says that this lawsuit is the only way to secure these drug benefits for state retirees forever.  While there is also legislation being considered in the General Assembly session to repeal the state's decision.

Hill says it normally takes between two and five years for a judge to hear the case once the class action is filed in Maryland. 

 

 

  • Health NewsMore>>

  • IBM, Curam, Agree to Settlement on Maryland Health Exchange

    IBM, Curam, Agree to Settlement on Maryland Health Exchange

    Friday, June 14 2019 1:16 PM EDT2019-06-14 17:16:48 GMT
    Friday, June 14 2019 1:19 PM EDT2019-06-14 17:19:50 GMT
    (Photo: CBS)(Photo: CBS)
    (Photo: CBS)(Photo: CBS)
    Federal and state officials say IBM and Curam Software have agreed to a $14.8 million settlement over allegations they made misrepresentations to the state of Maryland relating to developing the state's health exchange website.More
    Federal and state officials say IBM and Curam Software have agreed to a $14.8 million settlement over allegations they made misrepresentations to the state of Maryland relating to developing the state's health exchange website.More
  • Beams Signed at Beebe Expansion Site

    Beams Signed at Beebe Expansion Site

    Thursday, June 13 2019 8:01 PM EDT2019-06-14 00:01:04 GMT
    Friday, June 14 2019 7:33 AM EDT2019-06-14 11:33:44 GMT
    The final beams to be put in place were signed by staff and supporters of the $48 million Millville expansion project of Beebe Healthcare.More
    The final beams to be put in place were signed by staff and supporters of the $48 million Millville expansion project of Beebe Healthcare. More
  • Maryland Reports Drop in Deadly Drug Overdoses in 1st Quarter

    Maryland Reports Drop in Deadly Drug Overdoses in 1st Quarter

    Tuesday, June 11 2019 6:58 PM EDT2019-06-11 22:58:52 GMT
    Wednesday, June 12 2019 7:22 AM EDT2019-06-12 11:22:10 GMT
    Maryland's health department says fatal drug overdoses are down for the first three months of the year, compared to the same time last year.More
    Maryland's health department says fatal drug overdoses are down for the first three months of the year, compared to the same time last year.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Pennsylvania Vigilante Livestreams Confrontations With Suspected Child Predators In Ocean City

    Pennsylvania Vigilante Livestreams Confrontations With Suspected Child Predators In Ocean City

    A Pennsylvania man visited Ocean City this week trying to catch suspected pedophiles in the act, then publicly shame them through social media. 

    Justin Perry, or as he calls himself Mr. 17540, says he poses as a teenage girl in online chat rooms to lure men he thinks are child predators. 

    More

    A Pennsylvania man visited Ocean City this week trying to catch suspected pedophiles in the act, then publicly shame them through social media. 

    Justin Perry, or as he calls himself Mr. 17540, says he poses as a teenage girl in online chat rooms to lure men he thinks are child predators. 

    More
  • Saturday Morning Weather for June 15, 2019

    Saturday Morning Weather for June 15, 2019

    A beautiful weekend is in store for much of Delmarva.

    More

    A beautiful weekend is in store for much of Delmarva.

    More
  • OC Air Show Performers Fly Into Delmarva

    OC Air Show Performers Fly Into Delmarva

    On Thursday, OC Air Show pilots and their planes flew into the Wallops Flight Facility to begin practicing for the weekend events. 

    On Saturday and Sunday the beaches of Ocean City will be filled with people looking up at the planes overhead.

    The 12th annual event is expected to bring in thousands of people, so Dirato recommends getting to the 17th street area as early as possible to get a good spot.

    More

    On Thursday, OC Air Show pilots and their planes flew into the Wallops Flight Facility to begin practicing for the weekend events. 

    On Saturday and Sunday the beaches of Ocean City will be filled with people looking up at the planes overhead.

    The 12th annual event is expected to bring in thousands of people, so Dirato recommends getting to the 17th street area as early as possible to get a good spot.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices