TRS health care update
Date Posted: 6/02/2014
The Teacher Retirement System (TRS) Retiree Advisory Committee (RAC) met Thursday, May 22, to discuss both active and retiree health care programs: TRS-ActiveCare and TRS-Care. The committee and staff discussed making updates to a TRS-Care study that was initially published in 2012. The study will offer options that the Legislature can choose to work from when the 2015 legislative session begins in January. TRS-Care is projected to run out of funds in 2016, and without legislative action, the health insurance program provided to retirees will cease to exist. The long-term funding for TRS-Care has been woefully inadequate, and to make matters worse, in 2011, the legislature cut state funding for the program in half for two years. TRS-ActiveCare has its own unique set of funding problems. State funding for ActiveCare has been static since 2003, when the Legislature actually reduced state funds dedicated to active employees’ health insurance. Since that time, premiums have increased dramatically, and this increase has been shouldered almost entirely by employees. In order to make ActiveCare remain a viable, affordable health insurance option, the Legislature must make changes to the program’s funding structure, plan design and benefits. The health care study is expected to be released in July, and ATPE will be working very closely with the TRS Board of Trustees, as well as the Legislature, to ensure that both active and retired educators are offered quality health insurance options. This issue drives home how crucial it is that the education community vote to elect candidates who support the benefits educators receive. Otherwise, it is possible that these benefits could be eliminated, as some elected officials have suggested.
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