For more than a decade, El Paso teachers have had stable health insurance premiums through the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, but that has changed, and some retired teachers are saying they have been blindsided by a huge hike in their monthly premium.

NewsChannel 9 spoke to a retired teacher who said TRS's new deal with Humana, which is the Medicare supplement for TRS, has raised her monthly premium for her and her husband from $130 to $529. TRS said a billion dollar shortfall forced the premium hike even after the legislature contributed $700 million to sustain the program.

TRS said they notified retirees about the upcoming rate and benefit changes last summer and held a number of meetings to get out information on the rate hike. Because there are so many retired teachers trying to get answers about their premium rate hike, TRS says their call center is swamped, but there are numbers retired teachers can call, but be ready for a wait.

Those numbers are 1-800-223-8778 about pension benefits, or 1-888-237-6762 for TRS-Care questions.

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