Health insurance costs could double for retired Texas teachers

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Health insurance rates for retired teachers in Texas could double if the state Legislature doesn’t pass funding this session. Nearly 225,000 people in the state rely on their health insurance through the Retired Teachers Association. However, if $768 million in funding isn’t passed, the program will go broke by January of next year.

“Healthcare costs keep rising every year, so I guess that’s a moving target,” said Bill Barnes, Retired Teachers Association legislative coordinator.

Right now retirees, pay about 50 percent of their healthcare coverage; the rest is covered by the state and current employees. The Retired Teachers Association feels confident the bill, which passed in the House and is now in the Senate, will continue to receive support because one out of every 16 Texans over the age of 65 are part of this program.

“So it’s a big deal fixing this thing. So just telling everyone, ‘Hey, let’s just not fix it, and everyone just pays twice as much money and get less benefits,’ you are going to affect folks out there that are voters,” said Tim Lee, Retired Teachers Association executive director. “And I don’t think the House or Senate want that to happen.”

Their rally happens from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the East Lawn of the state Capitol.

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