TRS-Care: All Member, Statewide Action Alert!

CLICK HERE TO CONTACT YOUR SENATOR: All TRTA members are asked send an email urging Senators to “Keep TRS-Care Affordable!”

The 85th Legislative Session began on January 10, 2017, and movement on issues impacting public education retirees is happening quickly! The Senate Finance Committee has met multiple times to discuss the TRS–Care health insurance program, and has appointed a special workgroup of Senators to focus solely on state-vested health care plans.

TRTA is championing TRS–Care at every possible opportunity, as this program is a necessity for more than 260,000 retirees and dependents. TRS-Care has been the subject of much discussion amongst legislators due to its funding shortfall, which sits at $1 billion!

TRS–Care is teetering on insolvency and collapse. Shared pain—the idea that everyone connected to the plan pays a little more—has solved funding problems in the past. However, the state is suffering from a slowed economy, schools are fighting to remain financially stable and active employees’ wage growth is being eaten away by increasing health care costs.

So far, the Legislature has conducted one interim study that provides two possible solutions (see TRTA’s review from the 2016 4th quarter issue of The VOICE). 

Senate budget writers are discussing your TRS-Care program, but the proposed plan on “fixing” TRS-Care means you could be paying a lot more!

In one scenario, a pre-65 TRS-Care participant’s out-of-pocket costs could be as high as $12,130 per year!

The TRS-Care program is set to change drastically. The bottom line is that retirees will pay more, have fewer benefits and should expect more of the same in the years to come! Unless, the Legislature and stakeholders work together to fix the TRS-Care’s broken funding system!

Many retirees, including some TRTA members, are still either uninformed about this issue or do not think this will impact them!

TRTA is sounding the alarm: anyone in TRS-Care or who will retire soon and plans to enroll may see drastic changes to their health care options! 

We need your help! Now is the time to take action to protect TRS–Care and your retirement security! We need EVERY TRTA member involved in the initiative to keep TRS-Care affordable! 

TRTA has crafted a complete overview of where TRS-Care discussions stand today, with a short overview you can read below. To read our comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions about TRS-Care, click here!

QUICK FACTS:

  • The TRS-Care funding system is broken;
  • Current budget proposals do not provide new funding for TRS-Care;
  • Without additional funding, TRS-Care will be unaffordable for many;
  • SB 788 has been filed and would provide for sweeping changes to TRS-Care, including a high deductible plan structure for pre-65 retirees;
  • The lack of new and substantial increases to TRS-Care funding will shift the majority of costs onto retirees;
  • Total premium and deductible costs for pre-65 retirees could explode to $12,130 per year (see our FAQ for complete details);
  • Retirees over the age of 65 would have access to a Medicare Advantage plan only and premiums would increase for most participants;
  • According to the Interim Study Report, retirees over the age of 65 who currently qualify for Medicare B only, will be addressed, and even may receive a premium decrease;
  • TRTA believes the base funding for TRS-Care should double, but so far discussions have been dominated by how much cost-shifting can be forced onto retirees in the program;
  • TRS-Care has over 60,000 participants under the age of 65. They may be hit hard with tremendous cost increases;
  • TRS-Care has over 190,000 participants over the age of 65. While the proposed changes to these retirees are less severe, your voice is still needed to keep TRS-Care affordable!

HOW YOU CAN HELP TODAY!

  • TRTA is urging all members to call your Senator and ask them to “Keep TRS-Care Affordable!” 
  • Let’s make at least 20,000 phone calls to our Senators this session!;
  • Make a plan to make regular, once-weekly phone calls to your elected officials asking them to “Keep TRS-Care Affordable!”
  • Use the toll-free Legislator Hotline (1.888.674.3788) to make your once-weekly calls;
  • Use our helpful phone scripts when speaking to your Senator or their staff members;
  • Click here to send an email to your Senator;
  • If you participate in TRS-Care, we need you and you need TRTA! Click here to JOIN TRTA or to RENEW YOUR DUES;
  • TRTA believes that our members MUST be heard. Your VOICE is needed NOW! Make a commitment to take action today!

Thank You

Thank you for your membership to TRTA. We are fighting ardently for your benefits every day at the Capitol. If you are not yet a TRTA member, please join here. Be sure to read our comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions about TRS-Care here.

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