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2023-24 Annual Enrollment Videos

New for the 2023-24 plan year, we created a series of short "how to" videos. Participants can watch and learn how to choose the right TRS-ActiveCare health plan and get the most out of their coverage.

How to Choose a Health Plan

When there's three great TRS-ActiveCare plans to choose from, it can get overwhelming - but it doesn't have to be! Participants can learn more about how to choose their 2023-24 TRS-ActiveCare health plan.

How to Understand Terminology

Dive into insurance terminology.

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    JENNA: Hi, I'm Jenna. 

    EDDY: And I'm Eddy. 

    JENNA: And we explore the ins and outs of health insurance. On today's show, we have Kiana, and we're talking terminology. 

    KIANA: These terms are so confusing. 

    JENNA: I hear you. And it can be scary committing to a health plan when you don't understand them. So let's break it down. And we'll start with copay. That is the set amount you pay for a covered service when you get it. So there are examples of copays for seeing your primary care provider, a specialist, getting virtual care, et cetera. And your deductible is the yearly amount you'll pay for covered medical expenses before your insurance starts paying. 

    So if your plan starts September 1st and on September 2nd you break your leg, the total cost to fix your leg is, let's say $5,000 and your individual deductible is $2,500. You pay that $2,500. And then coinsurance kicks in. Coinsurance is the percentage of costs you pay after you've paid your deductible. If it's 70% and 30%, your plan pays 70% of the remaining $2,500 and you pay 30%. 

    That 70/30 split continues until you have met your maximum out of pocket. This is the most you pay for medical costs during the plan year. It includes deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Your plan pays 100% of covered services once you've reached that number. 

    Preventive care includes things like annual wellness exams, screenings, and required vaccinations. It's covered at no cost on every TRS ActiveCare plan. 

    KIANA: Thank you. I have much more clarity now. 

    JENNA: Excellent. And thank you for being here. If you have any questions, call the number below to connect with a plan specialist 24/7. 

How to Compare Benefits

Compare benefits plans side by side.

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    JENNA: Hey there. I'm Jenna. 

    EDDY: And I'm Eddy. 

    JENNA: And we explore the ins and outs of health insurance. Today we have Kiana, and we'll be helping her compare the benefits of each plan. 

    KIANA: Hi Jenna. I need help comparing the benefits of the three TRS ActiveCare plans. 

    JENNA: So the plan highlights is the perfect tool for that. I come back to it all the time. So let's go to the enrollment toolkit and click on Plan Highlights. We're dropping the link down below. There's a version for each region. So anyone who doesn't know their region can go to the link below. So we click on the dropdown, choose our region, and click Download. 

    Down the left side of page two, you'll see the wellness benefits. Every plan has preventive care, health coaching, and Ovia pregnancy support at no cost. For things like virtual health, the costs differ. You can see it's more on the TRS ActiveCare HD plan. 

    KIANA: This is great. 

    JENNA: Right? There's a plan summary at the top of page two. While you're thinking about switching from the HD plan to one of the primary plans, this is a great resource. Under that is a detailed breakdown of costs. I love that you can price a typical doctor's visit, urgent care visit, or prescription. Pricing info for things like labs and vision tests is on page four. 

    KIANA: This is so helpful. Thank you. 

    JENNA: Isn't it a great tool? I hope you found this helpful. See you on the next one. 

How to Figure Insurance Cost

Estimate what an actual year of expenses looks like.

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    [MUSIC PLAYING] EDDY: Action. 

    JENNA: Hi. I'm Jenna. 

    EDDY: And I'm Eddy. 

    JENNA: And we explained the ins and outs of health insurance. On this episode, we have Luis, a gym teacher who loves pickleball. And he brought some great questions about health insurance. 

    Hey, Luis. Are you ready to talk about your real insurance costs? 

    LUIS: Hey, I'm excited to learn more. 

    JENNA: Excellent. So today, we're not talking just about your monthly premiums, but figuring out what an actual year of expenses might look like. 


    So we're using this great tool that lays out the costs you know first. And then, you estimate the rest. I say estimate because you can't know everything that's going to happen throughout the year. 

    LUIS: Right. But this will definitely help us make an informed decision. 

    JENNA: Exactly. So part one, the plan costs section with the premiums, deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and maximum out-of-pocket for each plan. Part two is all about you. So you'll input info based on how much care everyone in the family might need. Remember, preventive care is included at no cost on all TRS-ActiveCare plans, so don't count that in your estimate. And that includes annual wellness visits, preventive care screenings, and immunizations. 

    LUIS: How do you figure out how to estimate? 

    JENNA: Start with last year. How many times did you go to the doctor or urgent care, and what did your prescriptions cost? 

    LUIS: OK. 

    JENNA: Now, think about this year. 

    LUIS: There are some changes there. 

    JENNA: OK. Is anyone in the family managing a new health condition? 

    LUIS: That's changed, too. 

    JENNA: All right. And now, think about mental health. TRS-ActiveCare has excellent mental health benefits for both in-person and virtual therapy. Factor that in if you think you'll use that benefit. And then in part three, you'll calculate your total costs. You might see when you add up the numbers that a different plan makes better sense. 

    LUIS: Thank you, Jenna. This is very helpful. 

    JENNA: And thank you for being here today. Be sure to check out our other videos to learn more about your annual enrollment and your TRS-ActiveCare plans. I hope you found this video helpful. We'll see you on the next one. 

How to Calculate Premiums

Learn more about monthly costs.

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    JENNA: Hi, I'm Jenna. 

    EDDY: And I'm Eddy. 

    JENNA: And we explore the ins and outs of health insurance. We are welcoming back Amy with further questions about her health insurance plan. Hey Amy. I hear you have another great question about benefits. 

    AMY: Yeah, how do I figure out my monthly payment? 

    JENNA: The first thing you need to know is premiums are different depending on which region you're in. Make sure to check your region for your premium before you do anything else. You can find that at the link below. Now, by law, the state and your school district must pay part of your TRS ActiveCare insurance costs. The state pays $75 and districts pay a minimum of $150. Most districts contribute more than the minimum. So we have to find the number that goes here, because these rates are before contributions factor in. 

    AMY: Where do I find my district contribution? 

    JENNA: Go to your district website. Let's use Dallas ISD as an example. Contributions differ by district, so make sure you're looking at your school district. So we'll click on Departments and look for benefits or human resources. There it is. Click on Benefits, and voila. Now you can call or email to ask what your combined state and district contribution is. Then take that number and subtract it from the plan premium. That is your magic number. 

    AMY: Thank you. I get it now. 

    JENNA: Good. That's what we're here for. For more health care content, be sure to watch our other videos linked below. 

How to Use a Temp ID Card

Know what to expect.

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    JENNA: Hi, I'm Jenna. 

    EDDY: And I'm Eddy. 

    JENNA: And we explore the ins and outs of health insurance. On today's episode, we have Amy, an avid runner. 

    EDDY: She's training for a marathon. 

    JENNA: And she has a lot of great questions about her insurance. Hi Amy. Welcome to the channel. Do you have any questions for us about your health insurance? 

    AMY: Well, since this is my first year with TRS ActiveCare, I'm not sure when I'll get my ID card in the mail. I also want to know if I can use my benefits before it comes. 

    JENNA: So you should get your ID card a few weeks after you enroll. Everyone's getting a new card this year, including people who had TRS ActiveCare last year, even if they're staying on the same plan. So be on the lookout, everyone. 

    You can use your benefits on day one, September 1st, using a temporary card. You can get that card by logging into Blue Access for members or downloading the BCBSTX app. But you can't log in to BAM or use the app without your ID number and group number. 

    AMY: Which I won't have yet. 

    JENNA: Right. If you're an existing participant, you can log in with your current ID number and get up to date information. But anyone new to TRS ActiveCare won't have that information yet. There's an easy fix. Just call 1-866-355-5999 to talk to a plan specialist. They're available 24/7 and they'll get you what you need to log in and get your temp card. 

    AMY: Thank you. That's so helpful. 

    JENNA: You're so welcome. It was a pleasure having you on the channel. Check out our other videos for more useful information about picking a plan and using your insurance. We'll see you on the next one.