Judge pauses Delaware retirees' Medicare Advantage switch

A judge in Delaware temporarily blocked the state from moving its public retirees to a Medicare Advantage plan, the Delaware News Journal reported Oct. 19. 

Delaware Superior Court judge Calvin Scott ruled that the state needs to "take all necessary and proper steps" to ensure that retirees' current healthcare insurance and benefits "remain in full force and effect," according to the report. 

The judge's ruling comes after a Delaware retiree advocacy group sued the state in September over the plan to move retired state employees to a Medicare Advantage plan. The group, RiseDelaware, argued that the state's pension benefit committee did not adequately collect input from lawmakers and retirees. The committee awarded Highmark a three-year contract in February to administer the Medicare Advantage plan for 25,000 retired state employees. The plan was set to go into effect in January. 

 A spokesperson for the Delaware governor's office told the newspaper that the administration is reviewing the ruling and its appeal options. 

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