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Texas Retired Teachers Are Opting Out of a Dental Plan Through the Teacher Retirement System

If you’re a retired educator who was previously covered under TRS healthcare plan, dental coverage through it may have been provided at a considerable expense. Once on Medicare however, much better coverage can be had at much less expense – many Medicare plans even feature $0 monthly premiums and often offer greater advantages than TRS-Care dental coverage!

Teacher Retirement System of Texas has long provided healthcare for teachers in Texas, known as TRS-Care. This state-run health care plan offers retirees 100% coverage minus deductibles at monthly premiums that range from $135-$1020 depending on family plans. Unfortunately, due to high co-pays and premiums some teachers have begun opting out in favor of cheaper Medicare plans which is putting TRS-Care at risk of an estimated $410 million shortfall in its next budget cycle.

TRS officials warned lawmakers that, without intervention, the program could become insolvent by 2023. State contributions have not kept pace with rising health care costs for retirees and teacher pensions haven’t kept pace with rising salaries for new teachers, which exacerbates this problem.

Recently, Maryland has seen many teachers opting out of its TRS-Care health care plan in favor of more cost-effective Medicare plans. Furthermore, Maryland recently reduced its forecast for TRS-Care’s financial shortfall – but some educators argue this doesn’t go far enough.

Retired educators from across Texas gathered in Austin recently to inform lawmakers they need additional support in order to afford the rising costs of health care. Becky Amason, an elementary school teacher in Sanger who recently opted out of their TRS-ActiveCare plan due to its higher premium costs and $500 deductible was among them.

Monty Exter, President of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, stated his organization is hearing complaints from members about the cost of health care coverage. Exter advocated making changes so retirees have more choices between TRS-Care or purchasing individual plans; currently if an opt-out opts out again they cannot buy it back again.

Even if you do not enroll in the state-run plan, Medicare Advantage plans offer dental and vision coverage for dental and vision needs. They typically have more extensive provider networks than TRS-Care health plans; along with preventive services they typically also cover basic restorative procedures like fillings and root canals.

Medicare Advantage dental and vision plans offer outstanding benefits at competitive rates, with some plans offering $0 monthly premiums or no deductibles at all. Some may also come equipped with prescription drug coverage and eyeglasses – make sure to compare all plans available in your area before making a decision!