The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Town Hall Meeting that is occurring tomorrow (Thursday, October 22, 2015) is vital to the discussion about the future of the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program.

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) provided a few details about the meeting webcast yesterday for those of you who wish to view the town hall online.

TRS will webcast the meeting live on Thursday from this link. This feature which will also enable viewers to submit questions and comments online. Please note, this link will not be live until Thursday at approximately 8:00 a.m.

TRS has since provided details about how to submit your questions during the meeting, both in person and online. Please see below for more information.

Ways to Submit Questions During the Meeting

During the Health Care Town Hall, TRS will offer two interactive Q & A sessions: One on the health care environment and cost trends and a second specific to TRS-Care and TRS-ActiveCare.

The audience attending the town hall in person can submit questions on the cards provided at the meeting, or by Twitter or Facebook on their mobile devices.

The webcast audience can submit questions through:

  • The internet link on the webcast homepage;
  • Twitter at @trsoftexas. For TRS-Care questions, use #trscare. For TRS-ActiveCare questions, use #trsactivecare. For all other questions, use #trstownhall; and
  • Facebook by commenting directly to our TRS Health Care Town Hall post.

TRS will publish Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the TRS website to address questions not answered during the Q&A.

Please Note: TRS asks that you do not submit questions regarding personal health situations. TRS cannot discuss an individual’s personal health information in this public forum.

Attending in Person? Let Us Know!

Your participation is necessary, and we encourage members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) and their fellow retirees and pre-retirees to attend.

If you are planning to attend the meeting in person, or if several members from your local unit are attending, please send us a quick email at TRTA to let us know! A headcount will give us an opportunity to plan ahead for providing refreshments.

Please also be cognizant of the weather and take any precautions you feel are necessary. The Austin area is projected to receive significant rainfall tomorrow, and we want our members and friends to be safe!

We know that not everyone can come to Austin for this meeting. If you are not able to drive into downtown Austin this Thursday, please view and participate in the meeting using the link above.

With more than a year to go before the next regular legislative session, TRTA members can feel assured that this will not be the only meeting they may have a chance to attend or participate in.

We have a long road ahead, and this is a great start to understanding the issues and potential solutions being considered to help TRS-Care. Your participation will play a critical role in the outcome for our retiree health care program.

Meeting Location, Parking Information and Agenda

The meeting will be held in the cafeteria on the 4th floor of the TRS headquarters building at 1000 Red River Street, Austin, Texas 78701. The meeting will begin at 8:00 a.m., and will adjourn at approximately 4:00 p.m.

Limited parking is available in the TRS lot. You may consider parking in the state parking garage located a block north of TRS at Trinity and 12th Streets. This is the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage (1201 San Jacinto between Trinity and San Jacinto Streets at 12th and 13th Streets). Parking is free for the first two hours and $1.00 for each half hour thereafter (maximum daily charge: $10.00). There is also metered street parking near TRS on Red River Street.

Several topics of discussion will be reviewed during the daylong meeting. At times, questions from the public will be welcomed.

Schedule of Events (subject to change)

8:00-8:30 a.m. Opening Comments

9:00-9:15 a.m. Meeting Overview (expectations for the day will be set)

9:15-10:15 a.m. Healthcare Environment Panel Discussion

10:15-10:30 a.m. Board Q&A

10:30-11:30 a.m. Strategies for Cost Containment and Consumerism Panel Discussion

11:30-11:45 a.m. Board Q&A

11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Working Lunch – Interactive Question and Answer Period

12:30-1:15 p.m. TRS-Care Panel Discussion

1:15-1:30 p.m. Board Q&A

1:30-2:15 p.m. TRS-ActiveCare Panel Discussion

2:15-2:30 p.m. Board Q&A

2:30-3:15 p.m. Association Panel Discussion

3:15-3:45 p.m. Interactive Question and Answer Period

3:45-4:00 p.m. Looking Forward, Closing Comments

Please Share This Information

If you are a local unit or district leader, please share this information with your fellow retirees at your fall meetings and through email and phone trees! If you know of members who are not receiving the Inside Line, please show them how simple and quick it is to sign up!

Let’s not exclude our friends who are still actively teaching and working in our public schools. Please encourage all active school employees to receive the Inside Line. We are all in this together, and our ability to protect TRS-Care today will ensure those pre-retirees that their benefits are safe as well.

We must spread the word and get retirees and pre-retirees motivated and inspired to be part of the solution! Our friends in the active community are working on this vital issue as well. We know that by sharing information and getting everyone involved, we can solve any problem that may impact the retirement security of our current and future TRS retirees.

Thank You

We hope are you are able to participate in the TRS-Care Town Hall Meeting on October 22, either in person or online. Please remember that now is the time for our members to get involved and be as vocal as possible and that YOUR VOICE MATTERS.

Your support helped us receive $768 million towards TRS-Care during the 84th Texas Legislative Session, but there is still more work to be done. Protecting TRS-Care is one of TRTA’s top priorities, and your help can make all of the difference. Be sure to stay tuned to our other digital mediums to keep informed on all the latest news and updates. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.