Health Care Crisis Results in TRS-Care Benefit Reductions; New Medicare Advantage Provider Approved

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board of Trustees adopted numerous plan design changes to the TRS-Care program. These changes include:

  • increased deductibles.
  • increased out-of-pocket maximum costs.
  • new convenience fees for local pharmacy prescription drug fills.
  • new rules on Medicare D.

The plan changes are projected to cost TRS-Care participants more than $43 million.

Among the changes, TRS is introducing Humana as a new Medicare Advantage provider. Humana will now work alongside Aetna, the long-time administrator of the TRS-Care traditional plan. Express Scripts will continue to manage pharmacy benefits. Humana contract negotiations are pending with TRS and will go into effect January 1, 2017. Humana brings a strong background in the Medicare Advantage market, and their broad base of providers may help TRS-Care improve and/or expand Medicare Advantage coverage.

A update on all these plan design changes and how they may impact your TRS-Care benefits and your pocketbook will be provided tomorrow.

The fight for more funding for the TRS-Care plan is already underway. TRS projects the pending shortfall to range between $1.5 and $2 billion next session!

The Texas Legislature must take a comprehensive look at how they fund this vital retiree health care program. Today’s decisions may be viewed as a modest reduction in benefits for retirees; however, if the Legislature does not act to deal with this health care crisis, TRS-Care plan design and premium increases may make the plan unrecognizable compared to how we know it today.

TRTA needs EVERY retired school employee to join in our effort to protect TRS-Care. We need you to join TRTA. We need you to help us protect your retirement security. Please join TRTA today!

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