Tag: health insurance

Analysis: Sticking points on pensions and retiree benefits affect budget for decades

It is not unusual each year for the House of Delegates and Senate to disagree over parts of next year’s budget that will take them several meetings of a conference committee to resolve. What is unusual this year is that some of the key disputes involve the long-term sustainability of the state’s pension system and benefits for retirees, and what they will cost in decades to come.

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Number of Marylanders without health insurance remained stable, report says

Despite the deep recession and high unemployment, the number of Marylanders without health insurance under the age of 65 remained relatively stable from 2004 to 2009, according to a new report that surprised health officials.

From 2008 to 2009, 14.5% of residents younger than 65 — about 720,000 people — were uninsured, according to “Health Insurance Coverage in Maryland through 2009,” released by the Maryland Health Care Commission last month. About 10,000 more who are older than 65 don’t have insurance.

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Pension commission delays decisions – but is told it can’t reduce COLAs

The commission examining changes to state retirement benefits put off any decisions until at least next week, but staff on Monday told the members that they couldn’t alter employee cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) – one of the largest areas for potential savings.

Freezing or capping COLAs for current and future retirees for five to 15 years was one scenario suggested to the Public Employees’ and Retirees’ Benefit Sustainability Commission. But Michael Rubinstein, a legislative analyst staffing the commission, told the commission that “simply from a legal question that approach is not viable.”

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Teachers’ union criticizes pension commission process as rushed, “offensive”

The executive director of the state teachers’ union said the process being used by the commission considering changes to state pensions was “offensive,” rushed, and lacked both details and consultation with affected employees.

“The whole discussion has been how are we going to cut costs,” David Helfman, executive director of the Maryland State Education Association, told reporters Thursday at a briefing. “There’s no indication that it’s being done in good faith.”

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