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TRS Board discusses Medicare Advantage premiums, sets TRS-ActiveCare employer plan rates

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Date Posted: 5/03/2024 | Author: Heather Sheffield

The Teacher Retirement System (TRS) Board met May 2–3 in Austin to get updates on financial, audit, legal, staff services, special projects, strategic planning, legislative, and personnel matters. The board also received an update on procurement and contracts and approved the selection of MetLife for the TRS-Care Optional Dental Plan and Optional Vision Plan. 

Interim Charges 

Like ATPE, the TRS staff and board are also awaiting the House interim charges and committee meetings. The following is the legislative update slide from the TRS board book.

TRS-Care Medicare Advantage  

As reported in this April 17 Teach the Vote blog post, the TRS-Care program has a current surplus balance of over $3 billion. The surplus is the result of a combination of increased premiums stemming from House Bill (HB) 3976 by Rep. Trent Ashby (R–Lufkin), passed by the Legislature in 2017 to address a massive shortfall of over a billion dollars, and the decreased cost of providing the TRS-Care Medicare Advantage plan due to changes at the federal level. The surplus provides the TRS board with an opportunity to lower Medicare Advantage premiums while still maintaining a healthy reserve. The board received more information on this during its meeting but will not vote on premium changes until July. TRS will host webinars this summer so plan participants can learn more about their options and select the plan that best fits their needs. The intention is to pair these changes with a limited-time open enrollment for TRS-Care Medicare Advantage.   

Below is the TRS slide detailing the information regarding plan improvements. For more information, visit the TRS-Care Medicare Advantage webpage.

TRS-Care Dental and Vision 

TRS is expanding its supplemental (non-major medical) insurance offerings. MetLife will now be a vendor for TRS-Care Dental and TRS-Care Vision. You don’t need to be enrolled in a TRS-Care health plan to enroll in the dental or vision benefit plans. However, you need to be a public school retiree or the dependent of a retiree eligible for TRS-Care. You can choose to enroll in either dental or vision or both. Plan applications will be mailed in July and August with the enrollment window starting Oct. 1, 2024. If you enroll in this window, your coverage would start Jan. 1, 2025.  To learn more, visit TRS’ website


On the active educator side, the board approved 2024-25 plan year TRS-ActiveCare rates for public education employers. These rates are the total premium cost for active care, not the rate employees will pay. Districts effectively set the employee rate, which is the total rate minus the amount paid by the state and local employer (typically ISD or charter). To access your region’s total premiums, Plan Highlights document and for more information, visit this TRS-ActiveCare webpage. 

Board Nominations 

The board was also informed that TRS is now accepting nominations for eligible members to qualify as candidates for the election of the at-large and retiree positions on the TRS Board of Trustees. While TRS board members are gubernatorial appointees, active and retired educators vote to send a slate of three candidates to the governor. The governor must choose from within the slate he is sent to fill the board seats that are required to held by active and retired educators. Both terms begin as early as Sept. 1, 2023, and end Aug. 31, 2029.

Learn more about the trustee election. 

Review the entire TRS Board meeting book. 


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