From left, retirees Lynda Hastings, John Goon and Ellen Scarpitti attend a

Delaware judge blocks Medicare Advantage health plan change

On Wednesday, a Delaware Superior Court judge temporarily blocked an effort to move the state’s retirees to a Medicare Advantage health care plan.

Judge Calvin Scott ruled that the state must “take all necessary and appropriate steps” to ensure that current retiree health insurance and benefits “remain in full effect.”

On the way to trial

A trial will be held to make a final decision on the future of the Medicare Advantage plan, the decision said.

THE STORY :Delaware Legislature to hold special session amid outrage over Medicare Advantage plan for retirees

The temporary lockdown is a major victory for a group of state pensioners, who have been protesting the change in recent weeks. The deadline for the state’s 30,000 retirees to opt out of the Medicare Advantage plan, and therefore lose state-sponsored health care, has been set for Oct. 24.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, argued that the state failed to follow administrative procedures when implementing the change, particularly regarding transparency and the ability for retirees to give their opinion.

From left, retirees Lynda Hastings, John Goon and Ellen Scarpitti attend a

Karen Peterson, a former state senator and Department of Labor employee, was one of the complainants.

“I took no pleasure in prosecuting state agents with whom I worked for many years,” she said in a statement. “But retirees are entitled to the medical coverage they were promised during their years working for the state, and someone had to fight back.”

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