TCTA | New bill would use fed funds to pay for COVID claims in…
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New bill would use fed funds to pay for COVID claims in TRS-Care, ActiveCare

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Senate Finance Committee Chair Jane Nelson filed SB 8 Friday, a bill allocating billions of dollars in federal funds for various state needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from unemployment compensation to supplemental food bank funding.

SB 8 includes an appropriation of $286 million to TRS to cover COVID-related claims under TRS-Care and TRS-ActiveCare. The bill provides that "It is the intent of the legislature that premiums for TRS-Care and TRS-ActiveCare insurance policies not increase as a result of coronavirus-related claims incurred before September 1, 2021."

According to TRS, approximately 30% of members have had either a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 diagnosis since March 2020. The proposed funding in SB 8 would avert around 5% of increased premiums for ActiveCare participants for the 2022-23 plan year. TRS notes that for TRS-Care, the appropriation "would allow for an approximate $400 waiver in premiums for retirees or remain in the TRS-Care fund to offset any future shortfalls."

A hearing on SB 8 is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 4, in the Senate Finance Committee.