The TRS Board of Trustees adopted plan benefits and premium costs at its February meeting for TRS-ActiveCare and for the HMOs administered through TRS.

Because legislative budget action could have an impact on TRS-Care (retiree coverage) rates, the Board intends to delay consideration of TRS-Care premium costs and plan design until that situation is resolved. (Budget writers have proposed halving the state's contribution to TRS-Care to .5%. Such a reduction could require premium increases ranging from 20% per year, if implemented beginning this fall, to over 90% if the premium increase were delayed by two years.)

Premiums for TRS-ActiveCare (current employee coverage) will increase by 9.5% beginning this fall. It's important to note that because most districts likely will not provide a corresponding increase in the district contribution (and in fact, although we're not aware of any specific proposals, some districts could cut back on any contribution over the state-required amount), the percentage increase to individual members will be more than 9.5%.

An example: The employee-only premium under Level 2, not including the state and district contribution, will rise from $396 to $434. Assuming the minimum required contribution of $225 total from the state and district, the employee's share would increase from $171 to $209, a 22% increase.

Costs to the insurance program have actually increased by more than 18%, but plan design changes approved by the Board - including increased co-pays and deductibles - helped keep the increase in premium cost under 10%. Double-digit percentage increases in health insurance costs are widespread across the nation, with disagreement over how much is attributable to skyrocketing medical costs and how much to federal health care reform. TRS officials estimate that about 3% of the ActiveCare increase is due to new federal requirements.

The three HMOs serving portions of Texas are also increasing deductibles and co-pays; FIRSTCARE and Valley Baptist HMOs are increasing premiums, but Scott & White is offering a premium decrease ranging from 13-15%. Employees in the areas served by the HMOs can opt in to those programs.

Open enrollment periods for ActiveCare will be April 18 - May 20, 2011, and August 1 - August 31, 2011.

New rates and benefits for TRS-ActiveCare Levels 1-3

New rates and benefits for FIRSTCARE, Scott & White, and Valley Baptist HMOs

HMO service areas