AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Dade Phelan, Senate Finance Committee Chair Joan Huffman, and House Appropriations Chair Dr. Greg Bonnen announced the allocation of $435 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) to offset healthcare costs related to COVID-19. This funding, combined with previous legislative appropriations during the third special session, will be applied to the TRS-ActiveCare healthcare plan to offset insurance premium increases. By providing these funds, teachers will now see an average 0% increase–or even decrease–on healthcare premiums.
“Our teachers are fundamental in building brighter futures for the next generation of Texans, and it is imperative that they have access to healthcare so they can continue developing our state’s most valuable asset: our kids,” said Governor Abbott. “Thank you to my partners in the legislature for helping allocate this excess funding that will be used to offset rising healthcare premiums associated with COVID-19 and continue giving our teachers access to quality, affordable healthcare.”
“I am happy to support this initiative so healthcare premiums for our active teachers do not increase,” said Lieutenant Governor Patrick. “Other than a parent, no person is more important to the development of a child than a teacher, and I will continue to stand with Texas teachers for that reason.”
“Texas teachers play one of the most vital roles to our kids and shouldn’t have to bear the burden of rising healthcare costs associated with COVID-19,” said Speaker Phelan. “Without this allocation, teachers in my district would have seen some of the largest increases to health care premiums in the state. Today’s announcement is welcome news for House District 21 and the rest of Texas.”
“With rising health-care costs and inflation soaring to a 40-year high, I am thrilled that we are able to allocate additional federal COVID-19 funding to TRS-ActiveCare to prevent health-care premiums from increasing,” said Senator Huffman, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
“Continuing with efforts made by the Legislature to provide necessary support to our teachers, this investment will maintain healthcare premiums for the active teacher workforce,” said Dr. Bonnen, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee. “Given the rising cost of health care and current inflationary environment, it is imperative that the State utilize all available resources to ensure costs to our hard working teachers stay as low as possible.”