“Additional funding should not fall on the shoulders of our retired teachers…”
AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick sent the following letter today to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board urging them not to raise health care premiums for retired teachers next year. The lieutenant governor’s letter is copied here:
August 15, 2018
Mr. Jarvis V. Hollingsworth
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Teacher Retirement System of Texas
711 Louisiana Street, Suite 2300
Houston, Texas 77002-2770
Dear Chairman Hollingsworth:
My office was notified yesterday that you are considering a proposal to increase healthcare premiums by $50 a month — $600 a year — beginning in January 2019, for retired teachers under the age of 65 who are not on Medicare. I urge you not to take that step.
In the last 4 years the Texas Senate has taken the lead in adding over a billion dollars to TRS Care funding including over $200 million in the Special Session last year. I have been candid in pointing out that the Legislature will need to add significant dollars over the next several years to address the increasing costs of healthcare for retired teachers. Because we are committed to our retired teachers, I am confident that the Senate will support additional funding for TRS Care and I am hopeful the next Speaker of the House will follow our lead on this important issue.
Rising healthcare costs are one of the greatest fiscal challenges we face in Texas and I urge you to continue to look for ways to control healthcare costs for retired teachers.
There is no question that the Legislature will need to continue to address TRS Care, as we have in the last two legislative sessions. But let me be clear, I believe additional funding should be the responsibility of the Legislature and not fall on the shoulders of our retired teachers.