Ask yourself, “Could I do better under a different insurance plan?” The answer might be yes in some cases, but usually not for a teacher working for the district, because by law, the state and district pay at least $225 toward the cost of insurance. So for an individual teacher, it is hard to beat the TRS plan because of this allowance. One way of reducing cost might be to change to a plan with a cheaper cost even though it might mean less coverage.
If you are covering your family on the TRS group plan, seeking information about other plans might be worthwhile. Group plans are expensive, especially when they cover public school employees. This is because a majority of those in TRS are female, and insurance coverage for females, fair or not, is more expensive than for males. Group plans are also expensive because they cover folks who can’t get insurance anywhere else.
Many employees have found that they can cover their children (if they do not have pre-existing conditions) or their husbands, especially if they are young, through private plans for much less. Insurance companies have found that young children who do not have pre-existing conditions hardly ever need to go to the hospital. This fact is reflected in their rates. This is also true for men.
It does not hurt to look.
It is easy to check out the rates and plans of insurance companies. One source is the internet. You can go on the web and compare rates and plans and check to see if they cost less. Another source of information is the person who sells you your car insurance. If they don’t sell health insurance, they can usually tell you who does. It might even be worth checking into plans for your husband and a separate one for your children.
Three groups who should stay with the district’s plan are:
- Those who cover only themselves. You must remember that most districts are putting in $225 a month or more toward your insurance. It is hard to beat this.
- Those who have serious health problems. Group insurance not only might be the cheapest, but it might be the only insurance you can get.
- Children who have pre-existing conditions if those conditions are serious.
Many of you will be very surprised at how much you can save with just a little bit of study and a change in mindset about insurance.