TRS Board Votes on Changes to TRS-Care Medical Plans

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board of Trustees convened July 13 and 14 for their quarterly meeting. The TRS Board discussed the transition to a new pharmacy benefits manager, voted to increase deductibles for the TRS-Care Standard medical insurance plan, and revealed the dates of the TRS-Care Fall Health Fairs. Despite these changes, TRS-Care member premiums will NOT be increasing.

Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) Executive Director Tim Lee provide public comment during the meeting, expressing his gratitude to the TRS staff and Board of Trustees for the work the TRS team did during the 88th Legislative Session.

“We appreciate the work you have done to help put us in a position to help us do something that has never been done for our retired public-school employees,” Lee said, referring to the passage of Senate Bill 10 which will provides stipends to hundreds of thousands of TRS annuitants, and a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), pending the passage of a constitutional amendment in November. Learn more about these benefit enhancements by clicking here.

Lee commented that TRTA’s work is not over. “We’re all going to keep working to find the best ways to help our folks.”

TRTA President Marcy Cann also thanked the TRS Board and staff for educating the Legislature during session and expressed her appreciation at having “everyone be there together” to have SB 10 signed by the Governor in June.

TRS-Care to Have New Pharmacy Benefits Manager as of January

TRS announced that TRS-Care plan participants will have a new pharmacy benefits manager. Express Scripts will become the new pharmacy benefits manager for TRS-Care on January 1, 2024.

Participants should receive their new pharmacy cards in the mail in December. Express Scripts will send representatives to the in-person TRS-Care Health Fairs this fall to answer questions. Express Scripts representatives will also participate in TRS-Care webinars. See more information about the health fairs and webinar below.

TRS-Care Standard Deductible Increase Information

Katrina Daniel, TRS Chief Health Care Officer, explained during a presentation that deductibles for TRS-Care Standard have not changed since 2018. TRTA members may recall that significant changes were made by the Texas Legislature in 2017 to the TRS-Care medical plans, and that those changes went into effect in 2018.

The TRS-Care Standard plan was set up to qualify as a high-deductible plan, making it eligible for a health savings account (HSA) that plan participants can set up outside of TRS. However, the current 2023 TRS-Care Standard plan deductibles are too low for the plan to be compatible with a health savings account in 2024 based on changes recently made by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

According to this article, “Qualifying plans require a deductible of at least $1,600 for self-only coverage or $3,200 for a family plan for 2024, according to the IRS.”

Due to this change by the IRS, TRS is increasing deductibles so that they will align with IRS guidelines so that pre-Medicare participants can continue to contribute to and use a health savings account. Despite these changes, TRS-Care member premiums will NOT be increasing.

The chart below demonstrates the deductible increases that will take effect in January 2024.

TRS Releases 2023 In-Person TRS-Care Health Fair Schedule

TRS-Care Health Fairs will return this fall! Per TRS, you should attend an event near you “to find answers to your questions; discover new programs that excite you; and forge connections with fellow retirees, your TRS Health Team, and the people who administer your health plans.​”

TRS-Care Health Fairs are from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., local time. TRS will announce updates in The Pulse. Additional information can also be found on the TRS website here.

2023 TRS-Care Health Fairs

Date Location
Tuesday, September 12, 2023 Round Rock
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 Amarillo
Wednesday, September 20, 2023 Lubbock
Thursday, September 21, 2023 Odessa
Monday, September 25, 2023 Laredo
Tuesday, September 26, 2023 San Antonio
Wednesday, September 27, 2023 San Marcos
Monday, October 2, 2023 Beaumont
Tuesday, October 3, 2023 Houston North
Wednesday, October 4, 2023 Houston Central
Thursday, October 5, 2023 Houston South (Sugar Land)
Monday, October 9, 2023 McAllen
Tuesday, October 10, 2023 Harlingen
Wednesday, October 11, 2023 Corpus Christi
Tuesday, October 17, 2023 El Paso East
Wednesday, October 18, 2023 El Paso Northwest
Friday, October 20, 2023 Waco
Monday, October 23, 2023 Ft. Worth
Tuesday, October 24, 2023 Arlington
Wednesday, October 25, 2023 Dallas North (Allen)
Thursday, October 26, 2023 Longview


Health Fair Attendee Registration
Health Fair Local Exhibitor Registration Request

TRS-Care Medicare Information Sessions for 2024 Benefits​ Webinars

TRS-Care Medicare Information Sessions are for people eligible for Medicare and enrolled in TRS-Care Medicare. Register to learn more about TRS-Care Medicare and review your 2024 medical and prescription drug benefits. TRS, UnitedHealthcare and Express Scripts staff will answer live questions from attendees. All sessions are 10 a.m.–12p.m., CST.

Event TRS-Care Medicare Information Session for 2024 Benefits
Dates Friday, October 6, 2023
Thursday, October 19, 2023
Wednesday, November 1, 2023

TRS-Care Standard Information Session for 2024 Benefits Webinars

TRS-Care Standard Information Sessions are for retirees not yet eligible for Medicare and enrolled in TRS-Care Standard. Register to learn more about TRS-Care Standard and review your 2024 medical and prescription drug benefits. TRS, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Express Scripts staff will answer live questions from attendees. All sessions are 10 a.m.–12p.m., CST.

Event TRS-Care Standard Information Session for 2024 Benefits
Dates Monday, October 16, 2023
Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Thank You!

Thank you for being a member of TRTA. We are asking members to please renew their dues with TRTA if they have not done so already. If you know someone who is not a member, please invite them to join us! There is strength in numbers and the surest way for us to accomplish success is to grow the organization.

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