June 2017, Vol. 2

TRS-ActiveCare changes for 2017–2018

by Troy Bryant

After much anticipation, the 85th Texas legislative session ended with no bills passed affecting TRS-ActiveCare.

Without a mandate from the Legislature, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board of Trustees approved new 2017-2018 TRS-ActiveCare rates, but made no sweeping changes to the health benefit program as had been presented in a 2016 ActiveCare Affordability Study. The new rates resulted in an overall 8.1 percent average premium increase.

TRS-ActiveCare PPO monthly premiums increased between 1.9 percent and 25.5 percent over last year’s premiums. The most popular plan, ActiveCare 1-HD, is $351 (2.9 percent increase) for employee-only, up $10 from last year, while the rate for employee and family is $1,316 (6.9 percent increase). The newest plan, ActiveCare Select, is $514 (6.2 percent increase) for employee-only and $1,589 for employee and family (16.8 percent increase). ActiveCare 2 remains the most expensive plan—$714 (10.7 percent increase) for employee-only and $2,004 for employee and family (25.5 percent increase). New rates will go into effect on September 1, 2017.

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The chart reflects rates for employee-only coverage for all three TRS-ActiveCare plan options since 2003. ActiveCare 2 rates were mostly steady from 2003 through 2008 but have increased every year since 2008.

Although ActiveCare 1-HD has only been around since 2009, its monthly premium increased almost every year except for 2014 and 2016; and ActiveCare Select, only available since 2014, has increased its monthly premium every year since its inception.  
 
Individual and family in-network deductible amounts did not change for ActiveCare plans, but higher out-of-network deductibles were implemented for ActiveCare 1-HD and ActiveCare 2 (ActiveCare Select does not allow out-of-network services).

The required health care contribution remains $75 per month per employee from the state and $150 minimum per employee from districts, unchanged since TRS-ActiveCare was implemented 15 years ago. To learn more about current district contribution amounts, insurance premiums, and cost sharing arrangements visit DataCentral and take our Health Insurance Premiums survey.

TRS introduced TRS-ActiveCare on September 1, 2002, and currently, nearly 500,000 employees and dependents participate in the program. Across the state, 1,222 districts and entities are eligible to participate, and 90 percent of those participate in TRS-ActiveCare.