TCTA testified before the Teacher Retirement System Board of Trustees at the board’s April 19-20 meeting as it considered new premium rates and plan changes for ActiveCare health insurance.

New ActiveCare premiums for 2018-19

The board voted to increase premium rates for levels 1-HD, Select, and 2 by 4.4 percent, 5 percent, and 9.5 percent, respectively. 

Other significant changes

  • TRS will cut off new enrollment in ActiveCare 2 for the 2018-19 plan year. Current ActiveCare 2 participants can re-enroll for 2018-19. ActiveCare 2 enrollees have the most expensive claims, and, even with a near-10 percent increase, the premiums do not fully cover the cost of the coverage, so participants in ActiveCare 1-HD and ActiveCare Select are subsidizing those in ActiveCare 2. The staff is expected to recommend elimination of ActiveCare 2 at some point in the near future.
  • Deductibles for 1-HD are increasing, as are out-of-pocket maximums for all three levels of coverage.
  • Copays for specialists, emergency room care and free-standing ERs are all increasing.
  • Lab diagnostics, previously free for Select and 2 if performed at a Quest facility, will now cost 20% after meeting the deductible.
  • Costs will increase for non-preferred drugs under levels 1-HD and 2.

TCTA testified, acknowledging that TRS has limited influence on costs. The Legislature controls funding, and has not increased its contributions toward active employee health insurance in more than 15 years. We asked the Board to ensure that legislative offices — as well as plan participants who will be negatively impacted by the rate and plan changes — are very aware that the unaffordability of health insurance for active employees must be addressed by the Legislature.

More details on these and other revisions, as well as changes in plans and premiums for the ActiveCare HMOs, are available by clicking here.

Other action

Also during the April meeting, the TRS Board deadlocked on a vote to change its assumed investment rate for the pension fund. Click here to read more.