The State of Health in Maryland

United Healthcare will host a session on the health analytics of Maryland residents, adapting your members' healthcare decisions, and ways to increase wellness throughout the State at MACo’s Summer Conference as part of MACo’s Solutions Showcase. MACo’s 2019 Summer Conference, “Winds of Change,” will take place on August 14-17 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. Nearly 3,000 individuals from across Maryland will gather to discuss advancements and changes being seen at…

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Prepare For and Live in Retirement with Help from Nationwide

Nationwide Retirement Solutions will host a session on tools to help you prepare for retirement at MACo’s Summer Conference as part of MACo’s Solutions Showcase. MACo’s 2019 Summer Conference, “Winds of Change,” will take place on August 14-17 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD. Nearly 3,000 individuals from across Maryland will gather to discuss advancements and changes being seen at all levels of government, from cybersecurity to Phase III WIP to…

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The 1-2-3 of Strong Pension Plans

A recent article points to the fact that there are examples of well-managed public pension systems - and shares a few of their practices. Bad press has blurred the fact that not all public pension plans are underfunded and overly generous. -Governing Among the qualities of pension plans that are fiscally sound are: They provide moderate benefits and require cost analysis before any change in benefits; They provide retirement incomes of between 30 and 50% of an employee's…

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End of Session Update: Employee Benefits and Relations

A previous post provided the status of various employee benefit and relation bills that MACo took a position on. Now that the dust has settled, this post provides the final of these bills, which did not reach final passage until the last day. Direct Deposit of Wages:  HB 233/SB 484 would authorize counties and municipal corporations to pay employees’ wages by direct deposit.  The House and Senate took differing approaches with these bills and a…

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“Last Day” Issues Wrap Up

As reported yesterday by MACo, a number of issues with county effect remained in play prior to the midnight deadline for the General Assembly session.  Below is an overview of how each of those bills ultimately played out: Maintenance of Effort – As reported yesterday, three bills were awaiting  final action. MACo supported HB 44 and SB 53 as a legislative initiative, to expand and balance the process for considering county MOE waiver requests —and…

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Session Update: Employee Benefits and Relations

This post summarizes the status of various employee benefits and relations bills that MACo took a position on. Direct Deposit of Wages:  HB 233/SB 484 would authorize counties and municipal corporations to pay employees’ wages by direct deposit.  However, the House has taken an approach that would require direct deposit, unless the employee opts out.  The Senate's approach would require direct deposit as a condition of employment and provide an opt-out for those individuals who do…

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MACo and Administration Reach Compromise on Extended Unemployment Benefits

The Administration’s bill ( HB 1228/SB 882) to accept federally-paid extended unemployment insurance benefits for private sector workers has raised concerns with the effect on public sector employers, who are self-insured and must pay for these benefits directly.   During the hearings on both bills, MACo and MML requested the opportunity to work with the Administration and the Committees to identify ways to help local governments accommodate these costs without putting new strains on local budgets. Through…

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Session Update: Health Legislation

This post summarizes the status of various health bills that MACo took a position on. Ambulance Service Providers and Assignment of Benefits:  HB 83/SB 154 would require health insurers to reimburse an ambulance provider (must be owned, operated,or under the jurisdiction of a political subdivision or a volunteer fire company or rescue squad) directly for covered services.  If an ambulance company provides a service to an individual and the company does not participate in that individual’s…

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Budget Conferees Meet – Pensions and Retiree Health Areas of Disagreement

As previously reported, a House and Senate conference committee has been appointed to resolve the differences in each chamber's respective budget plan.  As reported by MarylandReporter.com, the biggest areas of disagreement are over pensions and retiree health benefits.  These differences are summarized below. RETIREMENT AGE: The Senate adopted the “Rule of 92” to receive full pension benefits. This means that the age of an employee or teacher at their retirement and their length of service…

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Extended Unemployment Insurance Benefits Could Place Undue Financial Burden on Local Governments

MACo Associate Director Andrea Mansfield and MML Director Government Relations Candace Donoho testified  in support of  HB 1228/SB 882 with amendments.  The proposed bills would provide an extended 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to Maryland’s long-term unemployed who have exhausted all of their State and federal emergency unemployment benefits.  The Federal government is providing 100% funding for private employers, but the State and many local governments are self-insured and would be required to pay…

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