**This article has been updated with 2018-2019 TRS rates, which are even higher than they were last year.**
TRS is intended to help teachers and their families plan for their healthcare. Unfortunately, higher premiums year after year paired with stagnant subsidies are hurting families instead of helping.
- Premiums increased by 6% over last year.
- A majority of districts are subsidizing teachers only $225 towards their premiums. This does not cover spouses or children. It doesn't increase to accommodate inflation or rising premiums.
- Teacher's premiums have more than doubled since the program went into effect in 2002.
- TRS tends to benefit single teachers or those close to retirement age. Because of the flat premium structure teachers with added families are paying large monthly premiums.
- TRS subsidizes retired teachers. As more teachers retire, this number continues to grow and current teachers get less value for their money.
You've got options
Monthly premiums for TRS health plans, after the state and employer contributions are taken out, cost teachers between $126 and $489 for individual plans and up to $2,004 for family plans. The highest yearly in-network deductibles for individuals and families are $2,500 and $5,000, according to The Statesman.
We've put together examples of different savings options. Most cases have shown that teachers can get the most savings by adding their families or spouses to individual, private plans while they remain with TRS. Other options for individual plans can be with Aetna, BCBS, Medi-share, or Oscar. Below are two examples, one for a family of 4 and one for a married couple.
Please note, these numbers are ball-park since actual private plan premiums will vary by your age, location, and tobacco-status.
There are similarities in the numbers for Activecare Select and Activecare 2 plans when compared to family private plans.
The bottom-line is that while TRS still works great for individual teachers because of district subsidies, you’d be wise to shop around for your spouse and kids.
Have more questions? We've put together a detailed FAQ about moving your family off TRS.
You have until August 24th to choose a new plan for your family that starts September 1st. Specific enrollment dates will vary by district, so check with your benefits administrator to find out when you can enroll.
There are options for family members to be dropped from your TRS plan at any time. Although, you do want to make sure they have a qualifying reason within 60 days to enroll in a non-TRS plan. Family members currently on TRS will qualify since their TRS plan is technically ending August 31.
If your family is currently uninsured, then your options are faith-based Medi-Share plans (which don’t have an enrollment period) or short-term plans (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on short-term plans). You can then sign them up for a different private plan during the regular open enrollment period in November and December (we can send you a reminder if you’d like, see email sign up below). For more information, please see the FAQ.
Teachers deserve better
Want to see what your other options are? Visit TakeCommandHealth.com today to get started! We’ll help you quickly search private off-market plans, plans from Healthcare.gov, and even faith-based Medi-Share plans for your family’s doctors and prescriptions.