Many TRTA members are interested in the legislatively mandated studies completed by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) last week. The full report can be read by clicking here.

TRS began working on the studies at the end of the 82nd legislative session in 2011. The Texas Legislature directed TRS to research the impacts of potential changes to its current defined benefit pension plan. Additionally, the legislature instructed TRS to address the solvency issues with the TRS-Care health insurance program by doing a separate study.

To read the complete TRTA report on the study, please click here.

Next week will be the first opportunity for the TRTA staff and members of TRTA to respond publicly to the Texas Legislature about the results of the reports. Many of you have expressed interest in attending this meeting of the Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee (PIFS) next Wednesday, September 12.

The meeting will be held in room E2.010 of the Texas Capitol building. TRS is scheduled to present its findings at approximately 12:00 p.m. (Please note the time is subject to change) Public testimony is welcome. We encourage those of you who want to speak to arrive early, no later than 11:00 a.m., to complete a comment card.

Next Wednesday is also the TRS 75th Anniversary celebration. As you have heard, this event has sold out. Although we are unable to sell any additional tickets to the event, we still encourage any TRTA member within travelling distance to attend the PIFS Committee hearing. We believe you will find tremendous value in learning the results of the studies and in hearing legislators’ comments about those results.

For those of you who purchased tickets to the TRS 75th Anniversary event, you should receive your tickets in the mail shortly. We hope you are able to arrange your travel schedule to attend the PIFS meeting earlier in the day.

The PIFS hearing will also be broadcast live online from the following webpage: www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio. A specific link for the meeting has not yet been created. Please check back at the link provided on the day of the meeting.

Update on Special Email Lists

Over 700 emails have been received through the new doctorcheck@trta.org email service. We appreciate your inquiry and are working with TRS and Aetna to get answers to your emails as quickly as possible.

Additionally, over 300 emails have been sent to plancheck@trta.org. We know that Aetna is working hard to answer your Medicare Advantage questions, as well.

Please allow up to 14 days for these emails to be processed. Aetna officials are still involved with their statewide information seminar schedule. Providing information about the new Medicare Advantage program is being accomplished through multiple levels. Your patience in having your questions addressed is appreciated.

Please feel free to continue using the two email services below. If you want an immediate answer, try the TRS-Care Aetna hotline at 1-866-217-2409 (TDD: 711). These calls are being answered with little to no hold time.

For questions regarding your doctor’s participation in the TRS-Care Medicare Advantage plan (please provide your doctor’s full name, office address, and office phone number): doctorcheck@trta.org

General questions regarding the TRS-Care Medicare Advantage plan: plancheck@trta.org

As always, thank you for your membership in TRTA. If you are not a member and would like to join, please call us at 1.800.880.1650.