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Retiree Prescription Plan Changes

Retirees do not need to enroll in Medicare Part D for 2019 as originally planned.

Update on October 11, 2018

“In response to the court order issued October 10, prescription drug coverage for Medicare-eligible retirees will extend beyond December 31, 2018.  This means impacted retirees DO NOT have to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan for 2019 and may continue the coverage they have now into 2019 and at the same premium they are paying now. Details will follow in a notice mailed to retirees‘ homes.” ~ Department of Budget & Management, October 11, 2018

Original Message:

The State of Maryland’s Department of Budget & Management (DBM) announced a change to retiree prescription drug coverage effective January 1, 2019.   This message applies to Medicare eligible retirees and their medicare eligible dependents.   This does not impact active employees.

Effective January 1, 2019, State Medicare-eligible retirees will no longer receive prescription drug coverage under the State health plan, and will need to enroll in a Medicare Part D for prescription drug by then to ensure there is no gap in coverage.  Retirees’ dependents who have not yet reached Medicare eligibility will see no change; they will continue to be eligible for both prescription drug and health benefits until they reach Medicare eligibility. Active State employees who are Medicare-eligible, but are still working, will likewise see no change in prescription drug and health benefits.” 

Below are links with more information and resources regarding the initial announcement.  The Department of Budget & Management has been communicating directly with all current retirees and will be posting additional information to their site when it becomes available. 

On July 13, 2018 Governor Larry Hogan announced additional assistance.

Want to Provide Feedback to your Legislator?

To send your thoughts to your legislator regarding the Prescription Drug change, go to the following page and follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the words “Who represents me?”near the top right corner of the page.
  2. It will take you to a box to enter your address and zip, then click “find”.
  3. Click “Create Message” Type your message in the box and then click send. It’s that easy!

Key Information

  • The retiree and dependents (if medicare eligible) must chose and enroll in a Medicare Part D program to begin on 1/1/2019
  • The State of Maryland Drug program will end for Medicare eligible retirees and their Medicare eligible dependents on December 31, 2018
  • Medicare eligible Retirees/dependents must enroll through Medicare between October 15th – December 7th for a January 1, 2019 effective date
  • The current drug plan through the State of Maryland is “Creditable Coverage” according to Medicare and is ending 12/31/2018
  • The Retiree/dependent will pay for Medicare Part D on their own
  • Premiums and Costs can be found on the Medicare Part D Website
  • Medicare eligible Retirees/dependents are encouraged to use the Medicare Plan Finder to assist with finding a Medicare Part D Plan (please be prepared to have list of the prescriptions you and/or dependents currently take)
  • Some Retirees may income qualify for “Extra Help” through Medicare to reduce drug costs
  • Gov. Hogan announced on 7/13/18 a one-year transition plan to reimburse all out-of-pocket pharmaceutical expenses for impacted retirees in excess of $1,500.

Resources for Retirees