At a recent meeting of the Teachers’ Retirement Board, Insurance Consultant Dr. Joe Fields shared some details about the health insurance plans currently offered by the Board. Presently there are 22,600 retired teachers in the Anthem Plan with 8,000 enrolled in the Stirling Plan.
Dr. Fields noted that the Anthem Plan would no longer have a network designation for physicians and medical services. Instead a “passive network” would include any physician or facility that accepted Medicare.
On September 27, 2018 the Teachers’ Retirement Board announced that the cost of the Anthem Plan would be reduced from $134 to $130 per member per month. The Stirling Plan would decrease from $259 to $238 per member per month.
There is one very important change to the prescription drug coverage – the maximum “out of pocket” expense for prescription drugs will increase from the current $1,400 to $3,500. The Board projects that this new maximum will apply to 1% of retired teachers. This change applies to coverage under both the Anthem and Stirling Plans.
Anthem and Stirling were to have mailed out descriptions of their plans. If you wish to stay with the company (Anthem or Stirling) that you currently have, no action is required.
There will be an open enrollment period for the 2019 plan year will be from October 15th through November 26th, 2018 during which members may switch plans. It is anticipated that there will be an open enrollment period in October/November of 2019.
Plan details are available at the TRB website – www.ct.gov/trb/lib/trb/forms/healthinsurance/HI_PREM2019.pdf
In response to your concerns about the lack of communication with TRB members,the TRB will increase its use of technology – the TRB website, emails and a TRB Facebook account. Recognizing the difficulty that retirees have described in reaching the TRB by phone, the TRB has requested permission to hire two additional staff members.
Despite the cost-saving measures adopted by the TRB, the Health Insurance Premium Account needs an injection of funds from our legislators; otherwise it will continue to face insolvency.