As the first called special session of the 85th Legislature continues, members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) are watching for movement on bills impacting their retirement benefits. As TRTA reported recently, several bills already have been discussed in the Senate and the House regarding adding funding to the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program.
Tomorrow, August 1, House Bill 20 by Chairman Trent Ashby (R – Lufkin) is scheduled for a vote on the House floor. HB 20 would appropriate $212.7 million from the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) to bring down premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for participants in TRS-Care. A description of the proposed changes in HB 20 can be found below.
House Bill 80 by Representative Drew Darby (R – San Angelo) will also be on the House floor for a vote tomorrow. HB 80 is a bill that would provide a one-time cost-of-living increase (COLA) to annuitants who retired after August 31, 2004 and on or before August 31, 2015. The COLA would benefit retirees who did not receive the raise provided to more than 200,000 annuitants in 2013.
A live webcast of the House session will be available from this webpage tomorrow.
Multiple bills have been filed during this special session to help retirees. The support the Legislature is showing through the proposed bills is greatly appreciated. The Senate and the House must reach an agreement in order for this additional help to be received.
TRTA encourages its members to follow their legislators’ Facebook pages and communicate with them often during special session. A lot of positive work is being done to help retired teachers right now, and it is vital that we keep the lines of communications open with our Senators and Representatives.
Please ask your legislators to work with their colleagues to add as much additional funding to TRS-Care as possible! Not on Facebook? Use our toll-free Legislator Hotline to call your legislators today: 1.888.674.3788!
HB 20 Plan
Reduce deductible for Non-Medicare Retirees:
To reduce the deductible for the 2018-2019 plan years, it would require approximately an additional $115 million for the biennium.
Non-Medicare Retiree/Family Deductibles
From $3,000/$6,000 to $1,500/$3,000
Reduce premiums for retirees with adult disabled children:
TRS-Care has approximately 570 adult incapacitated children of TRS retirees. If the legislature were to reduce the premiums by $200 per month in the 2018-2019 plan years, it would require approximately an additional $2.736 million for the biennium.
Non-Medicare Retiree & Child(ren) from $433 to $208*
Non-Medicare Retiree & Family from $1,074 to $749*
Medicare Retiree & Child(ren) from $504 to $279*
Medicare Retiree & Family from $1,106 to $781*
Reduce maximum out-of-pocket for Non-Medicare Retirees:
To increase funding to reduce the maximum out-of-pocket for non-Medicare retirees in the 2018-2019 plan years, it would require approximately an additional $18.7 million for the biennium.
Non-Medicare Retiree/Family Maximum Out-of-Pocket
From $6,650/$13,300 to $5,650/$11,300
Reduce premiums for Spouses:
If the legislature were to reduce premiums by $100 for spouses in both plans in the 2018-2019 plan years, it would require approximately an additional $71 million for the biennium.
Non-Medicare Retiree & Spouse from $739 to $639
Non-Medicare Retiree & Family from $1,074 to $974*
Medicare Retiree & Spouse from $590 to $490
Medicare Retiree & Family from $1,106 to $1,006*
Reduce premiums for covered children:
If the legislature were to reduce premiums by $25 for all children covered in both plans in the 2018-2019 plan years, it would require approximately an additional $5.3 million for the biennium. This would result in a combination of spousal and child reduction of $125 in the Retiree & Family tier.*
Non-Medicare Retiree & Child(ren) from $433 to $408
Non-Medicare Retiree & Family from $1,074 to $949*
Medicare Retiree & Child(ren) from $504 to $479
Medicare Retiree & Family from $1,106 to $981*
*Reductions are cumulative
Total Additional State/District Contribution for FY 2018-19:
$212.7 million, paid from the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF).
Thank you for your membership to TRTA! TRTA has more than 82,000 members, but there are more than 350,000 TRS retirees. That means hundreds of thousands of TRS retirees are not involved in the largest retiree organization advocating for their TRS benefits.
To improve funding for TRS-Care, we need as many retirees as possible to join TRTA and stand with us!
It is vital that you join TRTA today! If you already are a member, please ask your fellow retirees to join. Many retirees are still unaware of the impending TRS-Care changes! Let’s all work together to improve retirement benefits for current and future retirees.
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