The TRS Board at its February meeting approved new premium hikes for the 2012-13 school year for TRS-ActiveCare and the three HMOs that serve Texas school employees. The average increase for Active-Care is 6%, but enrollees in the lower level plans will see a lesser increase than those in ActiveCare Tier 3, the richest level of benefits.

Health care costs continue to grow nationwide, and the new rates approved by the Board reflect those growth trends. ActiveCare Tier 1 premiums will increase by 4%, Tier 2 by 6% and Tier 3 by 9%. The staff noted that because of the already-high rates for Tier 3, the plan members who choose to stay in that level tend to be those with the highest medical costs, making that a very expensive program to administer. The 9% increase will not fully cover the costs of that plan.

Participants in TRS-ActiveCare should note that the actual percentage increase in their own costs will be higher than the stated percentages, because the state and local contributions toward premiums are not increasing (unless a local district chooses to increase the local contribution). For example, the premium for individual coverage in Tier 2 is increasing from $434 to $460 (6%). However, in a district where the state and local contribution totals $225 (the minimum required amount), the premium the individual pays will rise from $209 to $235, an increase of more than 12%.

More details on changes to health insurance are available on the TRS website at trs.state.tx.us.

TRS-ActiveCare
Premium Increases for 2012-13
  Current
2011-12
New
2012-13
Dollar
change
TRS-ActiveCare 1  
Employee only $325 $338 $13
Employee and spouse $741 $771 $30
Employee and child(ren) $519 $540 $21
Employee and family $817 $850 $33
 
TRS-ActiveCare 1-HD  
Employee only $287 $298 $11
Employee and spouse $703 $731 $28
Employee and child(ren) $448 $466 $18
Employee and family $920 $957 $37
 
TRS-ActiveCare 2  
Employee only $434 $460 $26
Employee and spouse $987 $1,046 $59
Employee and child(ren) $690 $731 $41
Employee and family $1,085 $1,150 $65
 
TRS-ActiveCare 3  
Employee only $584 $637 $53
Employee and spouse $1,328 $1,448 $120
Employee and child(ren) $931 $1,015 $84
Employee and family $1,461 $1,592 $131
(figures do not include state and district contributions)