Legislative Updates

Governor Names New Trustees to TRS Board

On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, Governor Greg Abbott announced the names of the three new trustees who will fill open positions on the Board of Trustees for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS). Governor Abbott has appointed Jarvis V. Hollingsworth, James “Dick” Nance, and Nanette Sissney to the TRS Board of Trustees for terms set to expire August 31, 2023.

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TRTF Making a Difference: Matt Stricklen

Matt Stricklen has been teaching at Akins High School in Austin, Texas for three years. His newest project is the most ambitious any of his students have undertaken, and it’s an opportunity for the students to learn about the power of ingenuity and collaboration.

Stricklen is teaching his students to build an augmented reality sandbox. The project may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it instead refers to a teaching tool students are using to learn about topography, the study of the shape and features on the surface of the Earth.

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November 9 Set as TRS-Care Auto Enrollment Date by TRS
According to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), TRS-Care plan participants who do not terminate their TRS-Care coverage by November 9 will be auto-enrolled into the new Humana and SilverScript (CVS) health care plan. November 9 is the cutoff date for the enrollment file TRS will submit to Humana, SilverScript (CVS) and the federal agency known as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).
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Welcome to Foundation Month 2017

The Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) is the charitable arm of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA). TRTF is responsible for providing grants and assistance to active and retired educators. November is the month that TRTF hosts its donation drive known as Foundation Month.

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Interim Charges for Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Released

The next Texas legislative session doesn’t convene until 2019, but the groundwork for future legislative action is already beginning. The Texas Legislature recently released its interim charges for the Texas Senate and House of Representatives. The charges include issues pertaining to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) pension fund and the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program.

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TRS-Care Communications

Many members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) have contacted us regarding information that appeared in a recent The Inside Line article about opting out of TRS-Care. We have also received many calls about a letter sent out recently by TRS to all Medicare-eligible retirees who currently are not in the TRS-Care Humana Medicare Advantage Level 2 program. The letter is meant as a “guaranteed issue” letter for a participant who needs to purchase a private Medigap supplemental insurance policy. Click here to read an explanation of the letter from the TRS website.

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TRS-Care Seminars Underway

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) has completed the first two weeks of seminars regarding the new TRS-Care health insurance plans. TRS has added several new meetings to the schedule.  Additional meetings have been added in Austin, the Houston area, Corpus Christi, the Rio Grande Valley, Greenville, Victoria and El Paso. Many members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) have attended these meetings and many will attend the internet webinars. 

To view the meeting schedule, including how to RSVP, please click here. This link also includes presentation materials, videos and handouts that describe the insurance changes. 

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Aetna Alternative Insurance Plans

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) has partnered with Aetna Healthcare to offer TRS-Care participants and spouses alternative health insurance options. To access the alternative options, use the following:

  • Visit the Aetna/TRTA offerings website online at www.healthspire.com/TRTA
  • Call 1.888.299.0919 (TTY: 711) between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday to speak to a health plan expert who can guide you through your choices between the TRS plan or an Aetna plan. Please note, Aetna's call center will be open this weekend. 
  • This offering is available for TRTA members only. If you need to check or update your membership, please call TRTA at 1.800.880.1650.
  • If you decide to opt out of TRS-Care retiree health insurance benefits, you will still need to inform TRS by calling 1.888.237.6762. Press #6 to get to TRS-Care.  
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TRTA Partners with Aetna to Offer Discounted Health Coverage Products

As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know, the TRS-Care retiree health insurance program is changing in 2018. You may have many questions about these changes, and it is important that you understand how your health care coverage will be affected.

For the past several months, TRTA has heard from members that the cost of coverage, especially for spouses, may be difficult to afford for some participants in TRS-Care when changes go into effect in January 2018. Many of our members who are Medicare A and B eligible have asked TRTA to search for dependable health care alternatives that can be trusted. 

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TRTA Remembers Dr. Kenneth Laycock

Dr. Kenneth Laycock served as the Texas Retired Teachers Association’s (TRTA) President from 1998-2000. He was also a founding member and President of the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF). He passed away on Sept. 13, 2017 at the age of 90 after a battle with cancer.

Dr. Laycock was a highly influential and important contributor in TRTA’s history, and his work with and for retirees will not be forgotten. He was a driving force behind the creation of TRTF, and without his efforts, TRTA would likely not have the building in which it currently resides.

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