State Leaders Announce Adding Pandemic Grant Money To TRS Health Insurance Fund, 4 Months After College Station ISD And Other School Districts Switch Providers – WTAW

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Screen shot from College Station ISD document.

State officials have announced moving $435 million dollars of federal pandemic relief money into the teacher retirement system’s (TRS) medical health insurance program.

The governor stated in a news release that TRS healthcare premiums will either stay the identical or go down.

This comes after College Station ISD and greater than 100 other school districts dropped TRS as their medical health insurance provider last December.

On the April 19 CSISD school board meeting, approval was given to enter final negotiations with a medical health insurance plan administered by the Texas Association of School Boards and the Texas Municipal League, where claims will likely be processed by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

CSISD chief administrative officer Molley Perry told the board that this yr’s TRS average rate increase was eight percent.

Board members also heard about TRS administrative issues from their consultant, Bob Tracy.

Click HERE to read and download presentation materials from the April 19, 2022 College Station ISD board meeting.

Click below to listen to comments from the April 19, 2022 College Station ISD board meeting.

 

News release from College Station ISD:

2022-23 Worker Health Plans: Chief Administrative Officer Molley Perry gave an update on the district’s plan to go away TRS-ActiveCare medical health insurance and choose a latest provider within the open marketplace for the 2022-23 health plan yr.

In August, 2021, the board chartered a committee to guage latest options and in December 2021, the board voted to go away the TRS-ActiveCare pool following the committee’s suggestion and extra research supporting that leaving TRS ActiveCare would profit CSISD employees.

CSISD engaged with Gallagher Consulting to help with the means of a Request for Proposal for a latest healthcare insurance provider. The TASB Health Plan rated highest overall within the RFP process. Latest healthcare plans available to employees next yr will include 4 options and be comparable in advantages and in premium rates to this yr’s TRS-Energetic Care plans.

The TRS-ActiveCare plans have sharply increased each of the previous few years, including an eight percent average increase last yr.

Through the regular meeting, the board authorized the superintendent to have interaction in final negotiations with TASB Advantages Cooperative and the Texas Municipal League for worker health plans starting within the 2022-23 plan yr.

Starting in May, CSISD will communicate finalized 2022-23 rates, plans and employer contributions to its employees. These latest plans will likely be effective on September 1, 2022.

News release from Governor Abbott’s office:

Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Dade Phelan, Senate Finance Committee Chair Joan Huffman, and House Appropriations Chair Dr. Greg Bonnen today announced the allocation of $435 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) to offset healthcare costs related to COVID-19. This funding, combined with previous legislative appropriations throughout the third special session, will likely be applied to the TRS-ActiveCare healthcare plan to offset insurance premium increases. By providing these funds, teachers will now see a median 0% increase–and even decrease–on healthcare premiums.

“Our teachers are fundamental in constructing brighter futures for the subsequent generation of Texans, and it’s imperative that they’ve access to healthcare in order that they can proceed developing our state’s most respected asset: our youngsters,” said Governor Abbott. “Thanks to my partners within the legislature for helping allocate this excess funding that will likely be used to offset rising healthcare premiums related to COVID-19 and proceed giving our teachers access to quality, inexpensive healthcare.”

“I’m joyful to support this initiative so healthcare premiums for our lively teachers don’t increase,” said Lieutenant Governor Patrick. “Apart from a parent, no one is more essential to the event of a toddler than a teacher, and I’ll proceed to face with Texas teachers for that reason.”

“Texas teachers play one of the crucial vital roles to our youngsters and shouldn’t need to bear the burden of rising healthcare costs related to COVID-19,” said Speaker Phelan. “Without this allocation, teachers in my district would have seen a few of the largest increases to health care premiums within the state. Today’s announcement is welcome news for House District 21 and the remainder of Texas.”

“With rising health-care costs and inflation soaring to a 40-year high, I’m thrilled that we’re in a position to allocate additional federal COVID-19 funding to TRS-ActiveCare to stop health-care premiums from increasing,” said Senator Huffman, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.

“Continuing with efforts made by the Legislature to supply essential support to our teachers, this investment will maintain healthcare premiums for the lively teacher workforce,” said Dr. Bonnen, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee. “Given the rising cost of health care and current inflationary environment, it’s imperative that the State utilize all available resources to make sure costs to our hard working teachers stay as little as possible.”

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