The TRS Board of Trustees approved next year’s premiums for ActiveCare health insurance at its April 2022 meeting. Rates were originally expected to increase by an average of 9.5% statewide, but state leadership, concerned about the impact on school employees, committed to additional funding totaling $435 million to ensure that no ActiveCare participants will see a base premium increase.
This funding does not affect the state’s $75 per month contribution for health insurance and is only directed at those employees participating in ActiveCare. School districts may revise local contributions, though they cannot contribute less than $150 per employee per month plus the $75 contribution from the state.
The individual effect on employees will vary throughout the state due to a new regional pricing model, under which premiums in some areas will at worst remain flat, while those in some parts of the state will decrease — significantly, in some cases.
The regional pricing model was implemented after a law was passed in 2021 allowing districts to withdraw from ActiveCare. In order to remain competitive with local plans, TRS had to be able to price health insurance coverage at a rate that reflected local costs. This ensures that TRS ActiveCare can compete with local insurance providers in lower cost areas and avoid having a large number of districts leave the plan, which would drive up costs for all participants.
TCTA thanked state leaders for the increased funding in a statement April 28, noting that lawmakers must include increased health insurance funding as a top priority for the 2023 legislative session.
TRS staff noted that there will be minimal plan changes to ActiveCare benefits, including a $12 per consultation increase for Teladoc services, and a $25 co-pay for insulin. Full plan details will be available early next week.
The TRS Board approved premium changes for the HMOs that are available to employees in some areas of the state, as well as some revisions to the benefits offered under those plans. See these slides for more information or view the images below.