The TRS Board of Trustees approved TRS-Care premiums and benefits for the upcoming plan year at the June 2012 board meeting. There will be no change in premiums paid by retirees, and the only change in benefits is an improvement that will remove the deductible or copay for certain preventive services.

A more complicated issue, of concern to many retirees, was consideration of a “Medicare Advantage” plan that would be offered as an option to TRS-Care and Medicare. As approved, all retirees will be enrolled in the Medicare Advantage plan, which is administered through Aetna, but they will be allowed to opt out. TRS staff assured the board that the plan will be beneficial to members, and that the more retirees who choose to remain in the plan, the larger the cost savings will be.

The Board also considered and approved a new Medicare Part D prescription drug plan that is also expected to provide better benefits.

TRS has provided descriptions of these changes in an online document , and promises that more information will be mailed to retirees later in June. UPDATE: TRS has since posted comprehensive information, as well as schedules for upcoming conference calls and workshop, on the TRS website.

TRS staff indicated that the changes approved at the board meeting should help TRS-Care’s financial condition. The plan was previously expected to become insolvent within the next two years, and the projections based on the new programs extend the TRS-Care fund through 2015.