Important update on TRS retiree healthcare

ATPE has just received the following announcement from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) regarding participants, members, or their dependents who originally terminated coverage with TRS-Care between July 1, 2017- January 1, 2018, but want to return.

For more information please visit the TRS Website of contact TRS at 1-888-237-6762.

From TRS:
2018 TRS-Care Plan Changes Grace Period

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) has received a number of requests from TRS-Care participants who terminated health plan coverage but want to return to TRS-Care.

Under TRS plan rules, retirees and dependents who terminate coverage cannot return to TRS-Care unless they experience a rare special enrollment event. However, TRS understands that there may be some individuals who did not wish to leave TRS-Care, or who now wish to reverse their decision and re-enroll.

Therefore, TRS is offering a one-time grace period until February 28, 2018 to allow former TRS-Care participants to re-enroll in TRS-Care if they terminated coverage or dropped a dependent due to the 2018 plan changes.

Who can re-enroll in TRS-Care during the grace period:

To be eligible for this grace period, participants must have a TRS-Care termination date of July 1, 2017 through January 1, 2018.

This is not an opportunity to add new dependents. You can only reinstate dependents that were previously covered under TRS-Care and were terminated from TRS-Care coverage between July 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018.

Steps to take to re-enroll:

To re-enroll with TRS-Care, please submit a signed application for TRS-Care. Your application must be post-marked no later than February 28, 2018. Your coverage will be effective the first day of the month following the time we receive your application.

Please note that if you submit your application near the end of the month, there may be a delay until TRS can make your coverage retroactively effective. Please submit your application as soon as possible.

If you wish to re-enroll in TRS-Care, please complete the application that applies to you based on your Medicare status, and sign and return the application to TRS postmarked no later than February 28, 2018.

There are two versions of the application—one for participants with Medicare and one for retirees without Medicare.

Please refer to the following link on the TRS website for more information.

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2 thoughts on “Important update on TRS retiree healthcare

  1. dropped_spouse

    Was an error made in setting the rates for Retiree and Spouse where both have medicare?
    Retiree/surviving spouse $135 ( 2017 rate $45 )
    Retire and spouse $529 ( 2017 rate $135 )

    So the spouse rate for TRS medicare advantage plan is $394/month ( 2017 rate $90 ).

    a footnote says:
    Premiums are determined by the TRS retiree’s Medicare eligibility, regardless of their dependents’ Medicare status.

    The Humana website shows various/public medicare advantage plans ranging from $0 to $116. The TRS rate for retiree looks reasonable; the spouse rate is extremely high — cannot imagine that there is not an error.

    It makes me wonder about the issue: Is the TRS fund subsidizing the retiree $259 ($394 – $135)? Who is making the choice on coverage? Who could have imagined that $394 would be automatically selected — an increase of $304/month: 338% vs. 2017 rate of $90 ?

    My mistake is in assuming rates would be within reason. I did not look further when I saw that everyone was being moved to TRS-Care Medicare Advantage 2. And then the letter from benefits, dated January 22nd, which told of the increased premiums to be deducted. Premiums went from $145 to $529, an increase of $384.

    Humana is ready to sign me up for a Medicare Advantage PPO plan at $15/month. While coverages are different, I will take the savings of $379/month ( $394 – $15 ).

    If TRS fixes this pricing disparity and offers another ‘one time grace period’, I might re-enroll. I don’t mind being part of the TRS member pool, but not at the current rate.

    Reply

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