Healthcare for Retired and Active Teachers
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Recent changes, voted on by our elected officials, have escalated the price of health insurance for educators in Texas. Retired teachers presently average $24,000 a year, and as of January 2018, in-network fees will increase 130% and the out-of-network will increase by 361%. With these rising costs, the average retired teacher will have the bulk of his/her pension sucked away by heightened insurance premiums. Retired teacher deductibles will also increase to $3,000 which is TEN times what it is now.
As it stands for current educators in the upcoming 2017-2018 school year, ActiveCare 2 will increase to $2,004 for employees and their families. Couple that with dental and vision insurance, and it totals a whopping $2,201.46. Each district tries to help by contributing around $300; however, that still ends up being $1,900 a month for health, vision, and dental insurance. On average, a teacher who has taught for 10 years makes about $50,000 a year. Deduct taxes and ins, and the amount to be lived off of is $2,038 a month if they choose ActiveCare 2. Even if deciding to go with another plan, the premiums and/or deductibles are still high.
There is no other profession in Texas that employs more than that of public education, yet we are not taken care of by the state of Texas. Currently 700,000 active public educators and 270,000 retired teachers are looking to our elected officials to make moral and ethical decisions on the welfare of educators.
Why more teachers don't protest: Teachers are some of the most loyal employees you will ever find. For many, professional development is back in full force beginning next week. Their loyalty to their district and students supersede that of fixing their own dire situation, hence how they managed to stay quiet this long. Educators care for others and put themselves on the back burner. Last year alone, Texas teachers spent around $200,000,000 of their OWN money to put back into their classrooms.
I have never seen any other profession give of themselves as teachers do. It is time that the state of Texas bands together with and for them to show your support.
In signing this petition, you are pleading to Governor Greg Abbott and our elected officials to revisit the TRS healthcare and make it affordable in comparison to average monthly incomes and cost of living in Texas. This is not the responsibility of the school districts. It is the duty of the state to manage teachers' healthcare premiums and deductibles, and as it stands, Governor Abbott, our senators, and our representatives have failed in doing so.
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