Changes made in the Texas legislature's special session have officially allowed the TRS-Care board to lower deductibles for Texas retired teachers.

Last Friday, the board met to approve changes that lower the in-network deductible for non-Medicare retirees from $3,000 to $1,500 and in-network maximum out of pocket costs from $7,150 to $5,650 for individuals. (Both of these costs are for individuals.)

These changes come as a result of a last minute special session appropriation of $212 million to TRS-Care. In the regular session, lawmakers responded to a dire situation at TRS-Care by making significant changes to the offerings the health retirement fund gave to retirees, reducing the number of plans offered to non-Medicare retirees from three to one.

This is especially important because one of the plans offered in this menu included a $0 option. Now, the only plan offered to those below the age of 65 is available for $200 per month.

Texas Retired Teachers Association Executive Director Tim Lee expressed appreciation for lawmakers once the TRS-Care board officially approved these changes.

"At every level, the leaders of the legislative (and executive branch) were involved in addressing retirees concerns," Lee said in a statement.

Changes from this TRS-Care meeting and legislative action will be enacted starting Jan. 1, 2018. TRS-Care plans to hold informational meetings with retirees throughout the state starting in October. Meetings will contain components for those with and without Medicare. Look here for a full schedule.

Look here for additional information on rates for those eligible for Medicare and those who are not yet eligible.