State of Delaware Retirees Organize to Fight Medicare Advantage Plan

Press Advisory:
For immediate release
August 28, 2022
Contact: Rep. John Kowalko (302-547-9351) or

State of Delaware Retirees Are Coming Together to Stop Medicare Privatization and Benefit Reductions

25th District State Representative John Kowalko and New Castle County 5th District Councilwoman Lisa Diller, a State of Delaware retiree, are teaming up to form RiseDelaware (Retirees Investing in State Equity Delaware), a new membership organization dedicated to educating, advocating, and informing State of Delaware retirees about what is happening with their health and pension benefits.

The catalyst is to fight the proposed State of Delaware Medicare Advantage plan that is supposed to be implemented on January 1, 2023.

“This is a disgrace on the part of the State of Delaware,” said Kowalko. “There are about 30,000 retirees and dependents affected. These retirees paid into the system and now the rug is being pulled out from under them. They are being told that nothing is going to change with their plan. How can anyone say this with a straight face? The State of Delaware is trying to balance this long-underfunded benefits deficit, one that officials have known about for years, on the backs of their retirees while at the same time proposing an expansion to Legislative Hall and a parking garage.”

Diller commented, “Retirees have been told that if a doctor takes original Medicare in the current plan, the doctor should also take Medicare Advantage (NA). We have been in contact with the New York City (NYC) retirees who fought and won a lawsuit against the implementation of a Medicare Advantage Plan. Hundreds of NYC doctors opted out of the NYC MA plan, which if implemented, would have left the NYC retirees scrambling to find new doctors at a time when many of them were frail and ill.”

State of Delaware officials claim that they were transparent about the plan, but Kowalko pointed out that this is such specialized information that retirees might not have known where to find the meetings on the issue.

The Delaware House and Senate approved the plan, buried in the budget as a budget line item, without a single presentation.

“State legislators could demand that this contract be put on hold and investigate the matter,” said Kowalko. “They need to do their own research and not to trust canned email responses crafted by the administration for their constituents.”

Diller added, “The sad part is that governments, unions, and professional organizations are pushing their retirees into MA plans without much thought. This is clear in the New York City case. Our message is that no one is coming to rescue you. You need to rescue yourself by making noise and using your vote. For State of Delaware retirees, this should be an issue this election year, and in the 2024 elections, especially the Governor’s race. People over 65 years are the most reliable and consistent voting block of any age group. They always vote!”

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Retirees Investing in Social Equity Delaware
“State of Delaware Public Service Retirees who care not just about their benefits, but your benefits too!”

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