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TRS Trustees Discuss New Vision and Dental Plans

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On February 15, 2024, the Board of Trustees for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) received a status update on the new optional vision and dental plans that the 88th Texas Legislature now allows TRS to offer.

Created by Senate Bill 1854 and outlined in Chapter 1575 of Insurance Code, the new dental and vision benefits will be a first for TRS retirees and their families. TRS is currently in the procurement phase and is looking at vendors to provide the services. Competitive bids will be presented to the board in May.

Who Will Be Eligible?

TRS retirees will be able to enroll in a TRS-Care dental or vision plan if:

  • They are on TRS-Care now
  • They were once eligible for TRS-Care
  • They dropped TRS-Care
  • They never enrolled in TRS-Care but were eligible for it when they retired

Other Takeaways

  • The plan year will be January through December, unlike Active-Care which is based on the fiscal year (September-August).
  • Enrollment and disenrollment will be handled the same way as the current medical and pharmacy plans.
  • Contributions can either be automatically deducted from a participant’s annuity or direct billed by TRS in the rare case that the annuity isn’t enough to pay for it.

When Will Enrollment Begin?

TRS retirees who are eligible for TRS-Care will be able to enroll in the new plans starting in Fall 2024 with coverage beginning January 1, 2025.

Communication

According to an August 2023 TRS News update, TRS will communicate with retirees eligible for coverage in advance of the coverage start date. Until then, more information can be found on the TRS website.

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Keith McLemore
Keith McLemore
HR and Compensation Consultant

Keith McLemore joined HR Services in 2015 and assists districts with compensation planning and development. He has 17 years of experience traveling the state supporting public education employees.

McLemore received a bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University and a master’s degree from Texas Tech University, both with a focus on research analysis and design. He is a SHRM-CP.

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TASB HR Services supports HR leadership in Texas schools through membership offerings in specialized training, consulting, and other services.
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