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Higher health costs hitting retired Texas teachers in 2018

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Some retired Texas teachers face higher health insurance premiums in 2018 under a state program that has teetered on insolvency in recent years.

The San Antonio Express-News reports that at least 9,000 educators and their dependents have left the subsidized insurance plan known as TRS-Care. That departure rate is six times higher than recent years.

Higher costs are driving some retirees back to work. Among them is 74-year-old Betty Munie of New Braunfels, who started substitute teaching to help cover an expected $375 premium hike.

The state’s Teacher Retirement System faced a $1 billion shortfall last year. Lawmakers pumped some extra money into the program but there’s still no long-term fix.

Republican state Rep. John Zerwas says lawmakers are trying to “minimize the pain” to retirees as much as possible.

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