Do Teachers Get Good Benefits
Teaching comes with many of the additional benefits of most careers. Again, this can vary widely depending on where you work, but generally speaking, teachers are entitled to insurance for themselves and their families, including medical, dental and vision coverage. They are also entitled to sick days and paid leave.
How Do I Get Started Looking For Other Plans
Take Command Health designed a first-of-its-kind website just for teachers that allows you to compare all of your optionsTRS and private plans in your areaside by side. We can help you choose a TRS plan, and help you see more options for your kids and spouse. Well even factor in your districts contribution amount, help you search for your doctors and prescriptions, and make it really simple to figure out which plans or combination of plans will provide the best coverage for you and your family.
We dont charge any fees for the use of our teacher site and our advice is data-driven and objective. We think teachers deserve better!
Example: Why Trs Isn’t Always The Best For Teachers
Let’s look at an example and run a few simple numbers. Below are the TRS premiums offered for the 2018-2019 school year, straight from the TRS Activecare website and brochure:
These are the gross monthly costs before any contributions from the state or from your school district. This year, the average contribution a teacher will receive is $225/mo for the teacher only. Typically, there is no additional contribution for a spouse or family. Your district may contribute a little more or less, but we’ll use the average $225 for this example.
For a single teacher looking at ActiveCare 1-HD, he or she can expect to pay $367 – $225 = $142/mo. Not bad!
But what if the teacher is married and wants to add his or her spouse on the same plan? The “Employee and Spouse” premium for ActiveCare 1-HD is $1035 – $225 = $810/mo. That’s $668 more each month just to add a spouse!
Similarly for a family of 3 , the “Employee and Family” premium for of ActiveCare 1-HD would be $1,374 – $225 = $1,149/mo for a family of 3. That’s more than $1,000/mo more just to add a spouse and a kid. Sure, health insurance has gotten expensive, but that is insane!
What if instead of adding a spouse and/or children to TRS, you put them on a private plan? The answer is your family could save a lot of money AND get better coverage.
Similarly, our family could find great coverage for the spouse and child for $400-500/mo total instead of an outrageous $1,374/mo on TRS.
Also Check: How To Calculate Federal Retirement
Gov Abbott To Allocate $435 Million In Covid
Brittany Taylor, Digital News Editor
AUSTIN Gov. Greg Abbott, alongside other state leaders, announced the allocation of $435 million in COVID-19 Relief Funds to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas to offset healthcare costs related to COVID-19, according to a release.
The funding will be applied to the TRS-ActiveCare healthcare plan to offset insurance premium increases.
Because of these funds, teachers will now see an average 0% increase — or even decrease — in healthcare premiums.
Our teachers are fundamental in building brighter futures for the next generation of Texans, and it is imperative that they have access to healthcare so they can continue developing our states most valuable asset: our kids, said Governor Abbott. Thank you to my partners in the legislature for helping allocate this excess funding that will be used to offset rising healthcare premiums associated with COVID-19 and continue giving our teachers access to quality, affordable healthcare.
I am happy to support this initiative so healthcare premiums for our active teachers do not increase, said Lieutenant Governor Patrick. Other than a parent, no person is more important to the development of a child than a teacher, and I will continue to stand with Texas teachers for that reason.
About the Author:
Texas Teaching Salaries And Benefits
If youre entering the teaching world, your primary focus has likely been on how to effectively educate young minds. Youve spent years studying strategies for thinking and planning ahead, preparing your students for future academic success, but have you stopped to think of yourself?
Being prepared in your personal life is just as important as being prepared in the classroom. Obtaining the health care you need and planning for your retirement later in life ensures the wellbeing of you and your family.
As a teacher in the state of Texas, you qualify for an all-inclusive benefits package that includes both retirement and health insurance planning, allowing you to make these preparations confidently.
Learn more about becoming a teacher. Contact schools offering teacher education/certification programs in Texas.
Recommended Reading: Converting Traditional Ira To Roth Ira After Retirement
When Is The Deadline To Make Changes
Teachers can make changes to their TRS enrollment status up until 8/31. Schools will often set deadlines before this to prevent a rush of paperwork. However, you can still work with your benefit administrator up until 8/31 deadline. You can use this form to document your changes and make life a little easier on your benefit administrator.
It’s important to note that you can drop family members from your TRS plan at any time, but you’ll want to make sure they have a qualifying reason within 60 days to enroll in a non-TRS plan. Family members currently on TRS will qualify since their TRS plan is technically ending 8/22. Check out other qualifying events or send us an email and we can help.
Eligibility For Retiree Insurance
As a TRS or ORP retiree, you may be eligible for GBP retiree insurance if:
- you have at least 10 years of service with an agency that participates in the GBP and
- your last place of public employment was with an agency or higher education institution that participates in the GBP .
If you participate in the ORP, you will need an ORP account from which youre eligible to start drawing payments. If you withdraw or roll over your account to another account at retirement, you will not be eligible for retiree insurance through the GBP.
Read Also: Investing In Index Funds For Retirement
Trs Says It Will Save Millions On New Health Administrators Assures Members Of Minimal Plan Impacts
The Teacher Retirement System of Texas Board voted last week to award contracts to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and United HealthCare to administer health-care plans for active and retired public school employees. This decision is one of the largest health-care procurements in TRS history. In moving away from Aetna and Humana as the plan administrators, TRS will save $754 Million over the next three to five years for the health benefits programs that cover 705,000 Texas public school employees and retirees. TRS officials said it will be able to use the savings from the contracts to help keep premiums stable and that participants should not see a change in premiums or benefits for the next year.
BCBSTX will take over administration of both TRS-ActiveCare, for active employees, and TRS-Care Standard, for retirees under 65. United HealthCare will be the new administrator for TRS-Care Medicare Advantage for retirees who qualify for Medicare. These changes will take effect September 1, 2020 for active members and January 1, 2021 for retirees.
Retired Teachers Have Left Texas Health Insurance Program
About 36,000 retired teachers and their dependents abandoned their state-created health insurance system this year after Texas officials enacted higher deductibles and premiums.
Most of the retirees who left were 65 or older and opted to choose cheaper Medicare plans elsewhere, putting the Teacher Retirement System of Texas health insurance system, called TRS-Care, and its remaining 230,000 members at risk of a bigger shortfall in the future.
In previous years, the number of retirees who dropped out of the system has been about 1,500 or less per year.
The system expects a $410 million shortfall in the 2020-21 budget cycle, system officials told a Texas House Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday.
We need to find some sustainable revenue streams and not continually be looking at how do we alter our eligibility and our benefits packages to what I think is ultimately at the detriment of our retired teachers, state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, said during the hearing.
To stave off a $1 billion shortfall, the Legislature in 2017 injected $484 million into the system over the next two years, but lawmakers also increased premiums and deductibles for some retired teachers by paring down the number of health care plans, including eliminating a $0 premium plan.
Why did costs grow?
Even so, teacher groups told lawmakers Wednesday the state needs more sustainable funding options.
Why are retired teachers leaving?
Recommended Reading: Ymca Retirement Fund Phone Number
Access To Affordable Health Insurance
To guarantee the wellbeing of teachers and their families, TRS has also implemented a voluntary health care program that provides health insurance. This statewide health coverage program includes almost 500,000 members and their dependents.
The program offers four PPO plans and three health maintenance organization plans. Teachers are able to choose coverage under any plan that is available to them. Because some plans are only available in certain counties, you should check with your local county for information about health plans in the area.
You can tailor your health insurance to meet your specific needs. For example, if you want a low deductible with low out-of-pocket expenses, you can pay a little more each month for that benefit.
No matter what plan you choose, each covers a multitude of medical expenses including:
- Office Visits
So Why Does This Happen
There are likely a couple of reasons:
Don’t Miss: Retire At 55 With 2 Million
Health Plan Premium Rates
Currently, the State of Texas pays for at least part of most retirees monthly health care rates . This is called the state contribution. If the state doesnt pay 100% of the premium, the retiree pays the remainder. The states contribution is based on available funding provided by the Texas Legislature and depends on three things:
- how many years the retiree worked in a benefits-eligible position at an agency or higher education institution that participates in the GBP,
- whether the retiree worked full-time or part-time in their last three months of employment at a participating agency/institution and
- whether the retiree had at least five years of eligible service at a GBP-participating agency or institution as of Sept. 1, 2014.
See health plan comparison charts and premium rate sheets .IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT INSURANCE: Health and other insurance benefits for employees and retirees are subject to change based on available state funding. The Texas Legislature determines the level of funding for such benefits and has no continuing obligation to provide those benefits beyond each fiscal year.
Outpatient Clinical Laboratory Information:
For TRS-ActiveCare Primary and TRS-ActiveCare Primary+, plan providers should refer members to in-network lab providers for outpatient lab services. To locate participating labs in the Plan network, visit Provider Finder® on the BCBSTX website.
For all TRS-ActiveCare or TRS-Care Standard participants, providers can use the following statewide in-network clinical labs:
- Clinical Pathology Laboratory Contact or visit CPL’s website.
- Laboratory Corporation of America® Contact 1-888-LAB-CORP or visitLabCorp’s website
- Quest Diagnostics, Inc. Contact or visit Quest’s website.
Refer to Provider Finder® for additional participating clinical laboratory providers.
Recommended Reading: State Street Target Retirement Funds
What Can I Do
We’d love to help you! We’ve designed a first-of-its-kind website just for teachers that allows you to compare all of your options – TRS and private plans in your area – side by side. We’ll even factor in your district’s contribution amount, help you search for your doctors and prescriptions, and make it really simple to figure out which plans or combination of plans will provide the best coverage for you and your family. We don’t charge any fees for the use of our teacher site and our advice is data-driven and objective.
We think teachers deserve better!
Do Teachers Get A Lump Sum When They Retire
If youve Final Salary service with a Normal Pension Age of 60 youll receive an automatic lump sum when you take your Final Salary benefits. If youve Final Salary service with a Normal Pension Age of 65, or Career Average pension, youll not receive an automatic lump sum when you take those benefits.
Also Check: How Much Do You Need To Retire At 40
Health Insurance News And Articles
The TRS Board is moving toward varying ActiveCare premium rates for different areas of the state. Read more from the July 2021 Board meeting.ActiveCare rates for 2021-22 jumped an average of 6.2%. for details on ActiveCare and HMO plans and premiums.
Some districts have exploited a loophole in law to offer local health insurance in addition to ActiveCare. Read about why this is causing major problems for ActiveCare.
The TRS Board made notable changes to ActiveCare options for the 2020-21 and subsequent plan years. Learn more about the new plans.
Beginning with the 2020-21 plan year, ActiveCare and TRS-Care Standard will be administered by BCBS, and TRS-Care Medicare Advantage by United Health Care. for more about the changes in plan administrators
The TRS Board considered premiums for the retiree insurance plan. Read about why TRS-Care premiums will not increase for 2019.
A quirk in the law places funding for ActiveCare in the TEA budget, rather than TRS’s. TCTA continues to ask TEA to include increased ActiveCare funding in its budget request.
For Many Texas Teachers Health Insurance Premiums Are Huge But So Are The Hospital Bills
In the past, Becky Amason rarely worried about making a trip to the doctors office she was covered by her husbands health insurance plan. But that isnt the case anymore.
Last year was the first time shed ever been on an insurance plan offered by her employer, Sanger ISD. Like many other teachers in Texas, she chose the cheapest: a traditional plan with low monthly premiums but a high deductible.
Those plans often work out for healthy folks with no chronic issues as long as there are no emergencies. But in December 2018, high blood pressure spikes and sudden dizziness sent her to the emergency room. Her doctor told her she was fine but the examination alone left her close to $5,000 in debt from out-of-pocket costs.
It was kind of a debacle, she said. Afterward, you see the bills roll in and start to say, Oh my God, I cant believe I went to the ER. Next time, I think Ill just die if I have to, because its so expensive.
Thats why she was happy to hear Texas lawmakers were wanting to give every public school teacher in the state a $5,000 pay raise just enough to cover her debt. Senate Bill 3, from state Sen. , R-Flower Mound, would give a raise to full-time classroom teachers and librarians over the next two years, at a total of $4 billion.
The bare minimum
The problem? Lawmakers havent increased the minimum. So, as health care costs rise, that contribution share has flipped, with teachers now responsible for 70% of their monthly premiums.
Recommended Reading: Inexpensive Retirement Homes In Florida
Teacher Retirement System And Optional Retirement Program Annuity For Active Employee
ERS administers the Texas Group Benefits Program benefits, including health insurance for eligible retirees of higher education institutions.
As an employee of an institution of higher education, you have the option of contributing to the TRS or participating in the ORP. This means your annuity will come from either TRS or your ORP, not from ERS.
Texas Teachers Insurance And Trs Health Plans
Texas teachers its decision time: will you enroll yourself or your family in TRS again this year, or will you choose a different plan?
Its a tough choice to make, and with the Texas teachers insurance deadline quickly approaching August 25 we have some quick tips to help you with your TRS health plans and enrollment decisions.
Don’t Miss: Best Golf Retirement Communities In Tennessee
What If You Have A Spouse Or Family
When it comes to insuring your spouse and children on TRS, the costs really begin to skyrocket. The Texas subsidy only applies to the teacher- it does not extend to family members.
The ActiveCare 1-HD premium price for your spouse: $991!
Those are just monthly premium costs – you still have copays and deductibles to meet once you visit the doctor ! There are definitely more affordable options out there for your family members.
Texas Retired Teachers Association
YOUR ASSOCIATION CAN FILL THE GAPS IN YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE
This is one of the main advantages of being a member! Thanks to our trusted partner, Association Member Benefits Advisors , members are eligible for exclusive insurance plans that are effective and affordable. If youve had trouble getting supplemental insurance at a reasonable rate, heres your chance! Best of all, it’s easy – you can enroll your way: online, by phone, or in person.
Don’t Miss: How To Know When To Retire From Work