Legislative Updates

TRS-Care Communications

Many members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) have contacted us regarding information that appeared in a recent The Inside Line article about opting out of TRS-Care. We have also received many calls about a letter sent out recently by TRS to all Medicare-eligible retirees who currently are not in the TRS-Care Humana Medicare Advantage Level 2 program. The letter is meant as a “guaranteed issue” letter for a participant who needs to purchase a private Medigap supplemental insurance policy. Click here to read an explanation of the letter from the TRS website.

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TRS-Care Seminars Underway

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) has completed the first two weeks of seminars regarding the new TRS-Care health insurance plans. TRS has added several new meetings to the schedule.  Additional meetings have been added in Austin, the Houston area, Corpus Christi, the Rio Grande Valley, Greenville, Victoria and El Paso. Many members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) have attended these meetings and many will attend the internet webinars. 

To view the meeting schedule, including how to RSVP, please click here. This link also includes presentation materials, videos and handouts that describe the insurance changes. 

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Aetna Alternative Insurance Plans

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) has partnered with Aetna Healthcare to offer TRS-Care participants and spouses alternative health insurance options. To access the alternative options, use the following:

  • Visit the Aetna/TRTA offerings website online at www.healthspire.com/TRTA
  • Call 1.888.299.0919 (TTY: 711) between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday to speak to a health plan expert who can guide you through your choices between the TRS plan or an Aetna plan. Please note, Aetna's call center will be open this weekend. 
  • This offering is available for TRTA members only. If you need to check or update your membership, please call TRTA at 1.800.880.1650.
  • If you decide to opt out of TRS-Care retiree health insurance benefits, you will still need to inform TRS by calling 1.888.237.6762. Press #6 to get to TRS-Care.  
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TRTA Partners with Aetna to Offer Discounted Health Coverage Products

As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know, the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program is changing in 2018. You may have many questions about these changes, and it is important that you understand how your health care coverage will be affected.

For the past several months, TRTA has heard from members that the cost of coverage, especially for spouses, may be difficult to afford for some participants in TRS-Care when changes go into effect in January 2018. Many of our members who are Medicare A and B eligible have asked TRTA to search for dependable health care alternatives that can be trusted. 

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TRTA Remembers Dr. Kenneth Laycock

Dr. Kenneth Laycock served as the Texas Retired Teachers Association’s (TRTA) President from 1998-2000. He was also a founding member and President of the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF). He passed away on Sept. 13, 2017 at the age of 90 after a battle with cancer.

Dr. Laycock was a highly influential and important contributor in TRTA’s history, and his work with and for retirees will not be forgotten. He was a driving force behind the creation of TRTF, and without his efforts, TRTA would likely not have the building in which it currently resides.

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TRTF Disaster Relief Fund Raises More than $100,000! Hurricane Harvey Grants Now Available

As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know, TRTA’s charitable partner organization, the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) has been raising funds to provide financial assistance for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

TRTF is pleased to announce that thanks to the overwhelming outpour of generosity from TRTA members, friends and supporters, we have raised more than $120,000 so far!

The TRTF Board of Trustees is so very thankful for your support. As a result of receiving these donations, TRTF has been able to set up a Disaster Relief Fund and already has been disbursing financial assistance to retired and active educators in the affected counties.

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TRS Accepting RSVPs for Health Care Information Seminars

As the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) reported recently, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) has established a plan for informing plan participants about changes to TRS-Care, including the start and end dates for the much-anticipated in-person retiree seminars that will begin in October.

The original plan was for TRS to have 88 meetings over 40 days, but those plans have since been altered due to Hurricane Harvey. Due to flooding in Houston and the surrounding areas, many event centers are not available for in-person sessions. TRS has added webinars for those unable to attend one of the in-person sessions.

TRS has released the schedule for these seminars, and retirees will have the opportunity to RSVP via telephone starting today, September 11, 2017. Please view the charts below as well for dates and times. TRS released this flyer to inform plan participants about the coming changes to TRS-Care.

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TRS Board Adopts Legislative Changes to TRS-Care

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board of Trustees met Friday, September 1, 2017 to approve the new TRS-Care retiree health insurance plans as laid out during the first called Special Session of the 85th Texas Legislature. As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) may recall, Governor Greg Abbott added TRS-Care to the special session call this summer after retirees across the state expressed serious concerns about high deductibles and premiums.

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A Special Message from TRTA and TRTF

A special message from TRTA President Nancy Byler, TRTF President Jamie Larson, and TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee!

ALSO: TRTA is preparing to attend tomorrow’s Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board of Trustees meeting, and has some valuable information to share with members!

The TRS Board of Trustees Board Meeting Book includes the timeline of events for the rollout of the new TRS-Care plans that go into effect on January 1, 2018. This communications timeline will help plan participants understand how the process will unfold over the next few months. Look to Tab 9 in the book for additional details.

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TRS Board to Meet Friday, TRTF Receives Thousands in Donations for Hurricane Victims

The TRS Board of Trustees will hold a meeting this Friday, Sept. 1 to discuss implementing the changes made by the Texas Legislature to the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program. It is expected that the Board will approve the changes as recommended by the Legislature.

As our members may recall, as a result of additional funding being provided by the Legislature during the recent summer special session, deductibles and premiums for retirees in the TRS-Care plans will be reduced from the amounts approved during the regular legislative session. You can read about the projected changes by clicking here.

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