Urgent: Ask House Members to Vote NO on HB 3453
05.04.2015 — On Wednesday, the House is set to consider HB 3453, which would allow districts to opt in and out of participation in TRS-ActiveCare and would authorize TRS to establish a regional rating method for determining premiums.
While stakeholders have expressed considerable concern about rising premiums, no testimony has been provided that said allowing a revolving opt in and out approach would result in lower or more stable premiums temporarily or over time. Premium increases are not unique to TRS-ActiveCare; districts not currently participating in the system are experiencing them as well.
From the Fiscal Note of HB 3453:
- According to TRS, regional rating would result in some employees paying more than others for the same level of healthcare coverage, regional rating would increase the volatility of future employee premiums, and approximately 62 percent of participating employees could experience a premium rate increase as a result of regional rating.
- According to TRS, as districts choose to opt out of TRS-ActiveCare, the premium rates for the districts remaining in the plan will increase, because the districts with the best utilization experience are more likely to opt out, leaving a higher use population in TRS-ActiveCare.
- This analysis assumes the premium increases will mostly be borne by participating employees. Some employers may choose to increase their contribution toward premiums, but this analysis assumes a minimal impact to units of local government.
While we appreciate that the intent is to lower or eliminate premium increases, more study should be done to ensure costs do not increase overall and that the program remains stable over time. Some districts, due to their smaller size or because they have had costly claims, may not be able to participate in a program other than TRS-ActiveCare, likely increasing the premiums within the system more, as stated in the fiscal note.
More than 90 percent of eligible school districts/entities participate in TRS-ActiveCare, covering 460,000 employees and dependents. A comprehensive study of the impact of the proposed changes must be conducted prior to making such a drastic change to the system.School leaders: Call your House members today and urge them to vote NO on HB 3453 until further information is available on the impact to school district employees and their dependents.