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21 Oct
0

Additional Details: TRS Town Hall Meeting Online Participation

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.

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20 Oct
0

TRS-Care Town Hall Meeting This Week: Thursday, October 22!

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) will host a Town Hall Meeting this Thursday October 22, 2015 to discuss the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program. As you may have read in a recent edition of the Inside Line, the next and most important step in the TRS-Care funding crisis is to find real, long-term solutions and protect the program’s participants.

The TRS-Care Town Hall Meeting is vital to this discussion! 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.

Webcast Information

We know that not everyone can come to Austin for this meeting. 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.

If you are not able to drive into downtown Austin this Thursday, please view and participate in the meeting using the link above.

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

Town Hall Meeting Significance

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) and its vigilant, dedicated members have worked to preserve TRS-Care for 13 years. The health insurance program is vital to nearly 250,000 participants, and has proven to be successful and well-liked. TRS-Care offers quality health care at a reasonable cost, and is necessary for our public education retirees’ financial security.

Our friends in the Texas Legislature worked with TRTA during the 84th Legislative Session to protect TRS-Care from an impending shortfall of $768 million. The funding approved by our Senators and Representatives meant that TRS-Care participants would not have to face crippling premium increases or worry about losing their coverage.

The $768 million appropriation was just one step the 2015 Texas Legislature took in preserving TRS-Care. They also passed a bill to create an interim study group tasked to discuss TRS-Care. The TRS-Care Town Hall Meeting and legislative study group seek to find long-term solutions to the TRS-Care funding shortfalls and provide a stable health care coverage program for retirees.

Though we won one battle in securing additional funding for TRS-Care in 2015, the next and most important step is to participate in finding solutions to the program’s funding instability. The process for discussing these long-term solutions begins now!

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.

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.

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

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.

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16 Oct
0

TRTA Issues Update: Medicare Part B Bills Filed, Texas House Names TRS-Care Interim Committee Members

Click here to send an email to your Congressman and help TRTA keep your premiums from increasing!

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) has been very busy this week gathering information about the issues that matter most to you. We know you are busy and we appreciate the time you put in to helping TRTA, its members and the programs we all value.

Medicare Part B Premiums Update: New Bills Filed!

Medicare Part B premiums are projected to increase by 52 percent in 2016. Thirty percent of Medicare Part B participants will be responsible for shouldering the increase if Congress does not take action.

Legislation addressing this issue has been filed. TRTA supports the following bills. Express your support for these bills by calling your Senator and Representative today!

Tell your Representative to support H.R. 3696 (Titus, NV), a new bill: “to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to prevent an increase in the Medicare part B premium and deductible in 2016.”

Tell your Senators to support S. 2148 (Wyden, OR) which is the Senate version of the House bill.

These are new bills, and your Representative and Senator may not have heard about them yet.

See below for a full list of the Texas Congressional Delegation, including their phone numbers.

We have limited time to address this issue. EVERYONE interested in trying to protect their Medicare Part B premiums needs to CALL their Congressmen and ask them to keep their premiums from skyrocketing by 52 percent today!

Please share this email with your friends, family and other retirees you may know in Texas or across the country. Share this information on Facebook and encourage people to pay attention to the proposed Medicare B premium increase.

It is time to make phone calls and get our members and friends activated!!

Video Update

Watch TRTA’s Executive Director, Tim Lee, discuss the latest news about Medicare Part B and TRS-Care.

Texas House Names Members for TRS-Care Interim Study

On Monday, October 12, 2015, Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus named the members of the TRS-Care legislative interim study committee. Those members are:

These members have all developed a strong relationship with the Texas school employee retirees in their districts. Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van) is well-known by many of our TRTA members, as he is presently serving as the Texas House Pensions Committee Chairman. He also attended the TRTA 62nd Annual Convention this past April and provided considerable insight into the 84th Texas Legislative Session.

Representative Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) served as the House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman on Education. Representative Ashby was instrumental in helping TRS-Care receive the $768 million to protect TRS retirees’ health care premiums this last session. We also were fortunate to see Representative Ashby at the TRTA Annual Convention in April, and we look forward to working with him on this committee.

Representative Justin Rodriguez (D-San Antonio) is a member of the Texas House Pensions Committee and has a great working relationship with the TRTA local units in his district. As a member of the House Pensions Committee, Representative Rodriguez has met numerous times with TRTA to discuss pension and health care issues.

As of today, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has not yet named the Senate members to the TRS-Care interim study group. When all members are named, TRTA will provide information about when the group will begin meeting.

Thank You

Protecting your health care benefits is one of TRTA’s top priorities, and your participation 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.

Texas Congressional Delegation Phone Numbers

To determine who your Congressmen are, please visit this link.

Texas U.S. Senators

Name Party Phone
Ted Cruz R 202-224-5922
John Cornyn R 202-224-2934

 

Texas U.S. Representatives

District
Name
Party
Phone
1
R
202-225-3035
2
R
202-225-6565
3
R
202-225-4201
4
R
202-225-6673
5
R
202-225-3484
6
R
202-225-2002
7
R
202-225-2571
8
R
202-225-4901
9
D
202-225-7508
10
R
202-225-2401
11
R
202-225-3605
12
R
202-225-5071
13
R
202-225-3706
14
R
202-225-2831
15
D
202-225-2531
16
D
202-225-4831
17
R
202-225-6105
18
D
202-225-3816
19
R
202-225-4005
20
D
202-225-3236
21
R
202-225-4236
22
R
202-225-5951
23
R
202-225-4511
24
R
202-225-6605
25
R
202-225-9896
26
R
202-225-7772
27
R
202-225-7742
28
D
202-225-1640
29
D
202-225-1688
30
D
202-225-8885
31
R
202-225-3864
32
R
202-225-2231
33
D
202-225-9897
34
D
202-225-9901
35
D
202-225-4865
36
R
202-225-1555

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