ANNAPOLIS -- The state government will pick up the cost of health insurance for the families of state employees sent overseas in the call to active duty by the National Guard or military reserves, the Board of Public Works decided yesterday.
Gov. William Donald Schaefer, one of three board members, also urged other employers in Maryland with workers called up by the military to follow suit.
Charles L. Benton Jr., secretary of budget and fiscal planning, who presented the idea to the board, noted that a big concern of many facing unexpected full-time military service is health insurance."
"It's a modest amount but an important contribution in the interests of national policy," Mr. Benton said.
Maj. Gen. James F. Fretterd, adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard, said a survey of 54 state agencies with some 74,000 workers showed 1,232 as members of either the Guard or reserves.
He estimated that 100 state employees have been called up, and the number could double by year's end. General Fretterd said the state would end up paying no more than $120,000 a year for the insurance.