County should offer its older retirees better health insurance [Letter]

December 11, 2013

I am writing to express my feelings of deep concern, anxiety and outrage at the insurance plan which has been foisted upon the county's public school retirees over the age of 65. Very recently, we learned that the following hospitals will not accept patients under the United Health Care Plan: Johns Hopkins, Howard County General, and the University of Maryland Medical System. Unbelievable! At two previous meetings we were assured that Hopkins was covered under the plan. What a shock to learn that this was a total untruth! To add insult to injury [literally], this information was kept a secret from us until it was almost too late for us to take any action for change. Those of us who were aware of this injustice did attend a meeting with the members of the Board of Education on Thursday, Dec. 5, at which time our concerns were forcefully expressed. Only then did the Board of Education throw us a bone, allowing us to fund our own private health care insurance for 2014 and still be able to return to the school system's plan in 2015. Because of Medicare's regulations, we were given exactly 24 hours to research and apply for another plan! A daunting, expensive and almost impossible assignment, to say the least.

After many years of loyal service to the Howard County Public School System and at this vulnerable stage in our lives, we deserve better treatment. We are frightened, we are at risk, and we are very insulted and angry. Our hope is that others will understand our situation and support our efforts to restore the insurance plans which we have enjoyed in the past and to which we are entitled.

Ruth Drucker

Columbia

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