GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled the state of Maryland can’t force state retirees onto a federal prescription drug plan until a lawsuit is decided.

U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte issued the ruling this week.

Four Maryland state retirees filed the lawsuit last month. They contend Maryland can’t force them to enroll in Medicare Part D when open enrollment begins Oct. 15.

The lawsuit arises from changes made in 2011 to health benefits for state retirees.

Shareese DeLeaver-Churchill, a spokeswoman for Gov. Larry Hogan, says the administration hopes to work with the General Assembly to find a permanent solution. Several state lawmakers say they will introduce a bill to repeal the law that kicked state retirees off the state’s prescription drug plan.

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