According to the 2019–2020 health insurance premiums survey conducted by TASB HR Services, Texas school district health insurance offerings have not changed much from previous years. The survey data reflects 293 Texas public school districts who completed the survey by December 2019.
- TRS-ActiveCare PPO or HMO plan: Ninety (90) percent of responding districts participate in TRS-ActiveCare. The remaining 10 percent are self-insured or fully insured, similar to 2018–2019 responses with the exception that partially self-insured plans were not reported at all this year.
- Premiums increasing: Eighty-nine (89) percent of responding Texas school districts reported their health insurance premiums increased in 2019–2020. This was 90 percent last year.
- Employee costs: Eighty-four (84) percent of these districts passed all or some of the additional costs on to employees, a 5 percent decrease compared to 89 percent last year.
- District contributions: Median district contributions are $300 per month for both employee-only (individual) plans and employee-plus-family plans among responding districts. These remained the same for the last three years and include the $75 contributed by the State.
- Employee contributions: Median employee contributions increased over last year, now $103 per month for individual plans and $1,135 per month for employee-plus-family, among responding districts.
- Health care cost-saving measures: The most popular measures among the 293 participating districts again this year are as follows:
|Health Care Cost-Saving Measures
||# of Districts
|Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
|Onsite flu shots/immunizations
|Telehealth (doctor consultation via telephone)
|Health Savings Account (HSA)
- TRS-ActiveCare PPO plan rates: Rates increased again for 2019–2020 for most health plans and coverage tiers (Employee Only, Employee & Spouse, Employee & Children, Employee & Family). Scott & White health plan options decreased from last year’s rates. Below are the average rate variances for each TRS ActiveCare and HMO plan premium.
- TRS-ActiveCare 1-HD (high deductible) Plan: +3 percent
- TRS-ActiveCare Select Plan: +3 percent
- TRS-ActiveCare 2 Plan: +9 percent
- TRS-ActiveCare HMO Plan - FirstCare: +5 percent
- TRS-ActiveCare HMO Plan - Blue Essentials: +3 percent
- TRS-ActiveCare HMO Plan - Scott & White: -3 percent
An August 2019 article published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) highlights the results of a survey of large U.S. employers conducted in May and June of 2019 by the nonprofit National Business Group on Health (NBGH). This survey predicts a median increase of 6 percent to health care costs. In comparison, TRS-ActiveCare health plan increases only average approximately 3 percent. NBGH’s survey indicates that those large employers plan on covering nearly 70 percent of health care costs for their workforce. In contrast, the TASB 2019–2020 health insurance premiums survey results indicate the median district contribution is 79 percent for individual health plans but only 21 percent for employee-plus-family plans.
The rising costs of health care in the U.S. is not a recent phenomenon. The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) published a snapshot of health care expenditures from 1970–2008 reflecting that U.S. health care spending outpaces several other comparable countries starting in the early 1990’s; increasing the gap between U.S. health care costs and other countries such as Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, and the United Kingdom each year.
HR Services member districts can participate in the ongoing 2019–2020 health insurance premiums survey in DataCentral via their myTASB login. Members can access the full results upon completion of the survey.
Chau Tran is a senior data analyst at TASB HR Services. Send Chau an email at email@example.com.
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