TRS-Care Bill Hazardous for Retirees

As early as Tuesday the Senate may vote on SB 788, the bill by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) that cuts benefits and raises costs for TRS-Care recipients who are not yet eligible for Medicare. While Medicare-eligible retirees may face higher costs, too, they at least would be assured under the bill of a decent level of coverage under a Medicare Advantage plan. Not so the retirees who have yet to reach age 65 and thus do not yet qualify for Medicare. Best estimates are that this bill would mean the under-65s would be offered a high-premium, high-deductible plan, making coverage simply unaffordable for many ($4,000 deductible, $7,000-plus “maximum” out of pocket, but a substantial portion of costs above the “maximum” would still be the retirees’ responsibility).

SB 788 is a bill that shrinks benefits for retirees to fit the inadequate sum of money the Senate proposes to spend, rather than mustering the resources needed to meet retirees’ needs. Amendments may be offered in the Senate to address those needs; a better deal may be achieved in the House, where the budget bill passed last week provides significantly more funding for TRS-Care than the Senate version.

Comments

  1. Terry says

    Perhaps Senator Huffman needs to walk in our shoes after giving the state of Texas 32 years. You should be ashamed and embarrassed Senator Huffman that you would treat other human beings with such disregard. I really hope karma comes to you because I’m being kind, there are many other unprofessional things that I wish I could say about you and your ideals but I won’t stoop to your level of ignorance. Have a good life.

  2. Terri Clayton says

    I will not be able to live on my teacher retirement as it is….and now, if you raise the cost of insurance coverage for retirees who have not hit mdicare age, I will have given my life to education and they (the “suits” in Austin) will have completely failed me……I am angry, sad, frustrated, and feeling hopeless! Not exactly the way I always dreamed of my retirement years…..

  3. Jo McKibben says

    Retirees haven’t received any type of Cost of Living increase in over 10 years. Now this possible increase. I think they just want all of us to just disappear.
    The unfair Social Security WEP & GPO is another issue. The lack of any COLA as an unretired teacher forced us to work second jobs and then they label any SSA benefits as “double dipping”.. REALLY!!!

  4. Carla Yocum says

    This is insane! We are punishing those teachers who have given there lives to the Children of Texas! Our state does not appreciate us! They have not given raises to the retirees and now they want more of our money!! I know how I will vote in the next state election!!! Retirees have a voice and we have plenty of time to get out and campaign against the people who don’t do what is right for teachers! I think I deserve just as good as our Governor!

  5. Gianna Manguno says

    I do not support Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston)bill that cuts benefits and raises costs for TRS-Care recipients who are not yet eligible for Medicare. As a teacher who is not yet 65 and thus do not yet qualify for Medicare, it looks like this bill would mean the under-65s would be offered a high-premium, high-deductible plan, making coverage simply unaffordable for many ($4,000 deductible, $7,000-plus “maximum” out of pocket, but a substantial portion of costs above the “maximum” would still be the retirees’ responsibility).

    SB 788 is a bill that shrinks benefits for retirees to fit the inadequate sum of money the Senate proposes to spend, rather than mustering the resources needed to meet retirees’ needs.

    I have spent 25 years teaching middle school students in Spring Branch ISD. I,along with my fellow teachers, are tired of getting the short end of the stick. Politicians claim to value education but your actions say otherwise.Currently, Spring Branch ISD is required to give millions of dollars to the state through the Robinhood Act. Because of this, teachers in Spring Branch ISD did not receive pay raises this year. In fact, due to the increase in health care cost, we have actually gone backwards. In addition, if people have contributed to social security and TRS they should be able to receive full benefits from both. It is our money. We need it and have earned it for our retirement.

  6. says

    This bill is again an indication of the poor opinion the legislators have of educators. No COLA, increased premiums, WEP, and now this? They really need to spend a week teaching in a challenging classroom, working with students with tremendous challenges.

  7. Dave says

    Where can we find more information on how the “best estimates” for coverage were determined?

    What is the Texas AFT’s recommendation for addressing the $1.06 billion shortfall in the TRS-Care fund which this bill is attempting to address? While the above referenced coverage changes would hurt retirees having the fund go insolvent would be even worse.

  8. Cliff Martaindale says

    It should be illegal for legislators to keep raising insurance rates and diminishing the benefits of those who have given their lives to teaching. SB 788 needs to be defeated and adequate funding provided for insurance.

  9. Will Burks says

    Under 65 retirees, who were largely incentivized to take early retirement with the understanding that TRS-Care would be there for us, will be financially devastated by this legislation.

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