The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) continued its board meeting today, Feb. 21, and the board made a decision on the health care providers for its Medicare Advantage, TRS-Care Standard and TRS-ActiveCare programs.

BlueCross BlueShield will provide service for TRS-Care Standard and TRS-ActiveCare. United Healthcare will provide service for Medicare Advantage. If you’re a retired educator under-65, your TRS-Care provider will be BlueCross BlueShield. If you’re a retired educators over-65, your Medicare Advantage provider will be United Healthcare.

The change to the new vendors for retirees takes place on Jan. 1, 2021! Active teachers will transition on Sept. 1, 2020.

TRS stated in the meeting that it has a “robust” communications campaign to let all retirees know about these changes. The communications include digital, print and in person conversations. TRS said that there are health care seminars for retirees coming in October.

TRS is committed to ensuring that the transition to the new carriers is smooth and announced that a robust communications campaign will follow this announcement. All of the benefits that retirees are currently receiving will remain the same, and the provider networks will be even broader. The premium costs will also remain the same. More information about the provider networks will be announced at a later time.

According to TRS, the changes to the new health care providers will save the system $754 million over the next three to five years.

“We’re dedicated to supporting our members, retirees and their families throughout the transitions,” says TRS Executive Director Brian Guthrie. “In the coming months, our members can expect a robust communication campaign and will see the new websites and customer services lines open up. And, as always, our staff is ready to assist our members with questions they may have.”