FEBRUARY 19, 2018

Guillen Urges Action To Address The Cost Of Teacher Healthcare 


AUSTIN - Representative Ryan Guillen (D - Rural South Texas) has sent a letter to Governor Abbott urging him to call a special session of the legislature to consider legislation that would lower the cost of healthcare for retired teachers on the Teacher Retirement System’s health coverage program, TRS-Care. 

"As the son and grandson of educators and a former educator myself, I know how important a role teachers play in our communities, so it is essential that they have access to quality healthcare at a price they can afford," said Guillen.

TRS is a public pension plan that was established in 1937 to provide retirement benefits to teachers employed in Texas public schools. TRS includes a self-insured health benefits program that provides health insurance to retired teachers called TRS-Care. More than 260,000 retired Texas educators rely on TRS-Care to meet their medical needs. In recent years, TRS-Care has faced multiple shortfalls and inadequate funding, leading to a drastic increase in premiums and deductibles for retired educators. Guillen has long fought for better funding for retired teacher healthcare. In the last legislative session, Guillen was critical to passage of legislation that funded TRS-Care with $1.2 billion, $212 million of which was dedicated to reducing premiums and deductibles.

But Representative Guillen feels it has become clear that more needs to be done as premiums and deductibles are still too high for many retired educators to afford, so he and other members of the legislature sent a letter to Governor Abbott urging him to call a special session of the legislature, which only the Governor can convene, to implement solutions to this pressing issue. 

"Every Texan deserves access to healthcare that they can afford, especially our retired educators who have given so much back to the future of their community, so I will continue to do everything I can to fight for them," said Guillen.    

Serving ten rural South Texas counties in the Texas House of Representatives, Ryan Guillen is known for his hard work, fierce independence, and relentless efforts for South Texas families. Recently, Capitol Inside called him a “House Bill Machine,” and a “one-person assembly line for legislation.” Since elected, few other legislators have passed more bills than Guillen. Sign up for updates at,, and