Health Insurance Changes

There has been some confusion over the change in the health care plan offered by the TRB. After consulting with our Insurance Chair, Rick Follman, we are offering the following information. Hopefully this will answer some of your questions.

  1. Those on Medicare Advantage are not affected as that plan is all-inclusive. You need to do nothing if you are happy with it.
  2. Those using Sterling for their supplemental overage will no longer have Stirling as an option as of the end of this year.
  3. In October or November those on Stirling will choose between the new Anthem supplemental (remaining on regular Medicare) and the Medicare Advantage plan which includes supplemental coverage.
  4. At this time we do not have the details regarding cost and coverage. We will relay that information as we receive it.

Ed Messina, President of ARTC

Health Insurance Committee

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Health Insurance Committee Report May, 2018 by Louise & Rick Follman

The focus of the committee was on changes to retired teachers' health insurance. With the help of numerous ARTC members, the Legislature was persuaded to add $16.1 million to the funds that had originally been provided to the Health Insurance Premium Account (HIPA). Without the additional funds, the account would have been insolvent by the fall of 2018! 

The additional funding will allow the fund to pay health claims through 2019. Because the future of HIPA is uncertain, The Committee's plans and actions center about

  • encouraging the TRB to be more transparent in its dealings and to better communicate with TRB members; 
  • demanding that the State fully fund the Health Insurance and Pension accounts;
  • collecting and evaluating data related to the new Medicare Advantage plan and
  • providing ARTC members with current information about their health insurance


News

Retired Teachers of Connecticut Pension/Insurance Crisis

  • The Retired Teacher Pension is underfunded by more than 13 billion dollars.
  • Active teachers saw an increase of 1% pension contribution. They now contribute 7% of their income to the retirement fund.
  • Increase of teacher contribution to the fund is being used to reduce the State's obligation to increase overall funding of the pension, not to reduce the unfunded liability.
  • Teachers' Health Insurance Fund that active and retired teachers pay into is facing insolvency this year. The Fund was instituted to help lower insurance costs for teacher retirees.
  • State failed to contribute its promised 33 1/2% contribution over the years.
  • State funding is flat for the biennium at $14 million per year. This amounts to 12% of the medical plan costs in year 1 and 10% of the plan cost in year 2. Retired teachers pay all their Medicare premiums and the bulk of their supplemental costs.
  • Because the State has short funded the Health Fund by well over $190 million over the last few years the TRB was forced into a Medicare Advantage Plan. This is a temporary fix. The TRB health insurance consultant estimates the 2019 deficit will be an additional 8 million dollars.
  • Coverage and premiums for all retired teachers will change as of July 1, 2018.
  • State postponed the 50% income tax exclusion for retired teachers. Because teachers do not have Social Security, this is a fairness issue. There is also an economic issue since 26% of retired teachers, more than 9,000, are choosing to leave the state upon retirement.


Retired Teachers do not have a union. We do not have a contract with the State. We rely on the Legislature to hear our voices and to keep the State's promise.

Contact your legislators about this issue!

Insurance Information

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Insurance Contact Information

Express Scripts: 1-844-433-4883  www.Express-Scripts.com

Medicare: 1-800-633-4227  www.medicare.gov

Sterling Benefits: 1-800-447-6689  www.sterlingbenefits.com

Cigna Dental (DPPO) 1-800-564-7642  www.cigna.com or myCigna.com.

Upcoming Changes to Health Insurance

The Teachers' Retirement Board is implementing a Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan effective July 1, 2018. Beginning July 1, 2018, the Anthem MA plan will be the default plan. Stirling will remain as a "buy-up" option.

All TRB Health Plan members will be automatically enrolled in the Anthem MA Plan, unless they elect to "Opt-Out" and remain in the Stirling plan.  Prior to April 1st, pre-enrollment kits will be sent to members including a full benefit plan description as well as "Opt-Out" instructions. 

Please click on the following links for additional information.
Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan FAQ
MA Plan Description Highlights
MA Plan Description
TRB Health Plan Overview

AARP Health Law Guide

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