Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) is developing groundbreaking solutions to manage retirement & healthcare services as well as maximizing investment returns for the state’s public education employees. Succeeding in life is about commitment and hard work—maybe a favorite school teacher imparted that idea to you along the way. At TRS, we take that to heart and believe life can also be a balance between giving back while excelling professionally.
The Health Care Attorney performs highly advanced (senior-level) legal work. Work involves providing counsel and related services primarily related to the administration of two (2) statewide health benefit plans for Texas public school employees and retirees; providing general legal counsel and representation to the Board of Trustees (Board) of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), management, and staff; and providing research and other legal support. This attorney works under minimal supervision with extensive latitude for the use of initiative and independent judgment.
State Classification: General Counsel IV/3524/B31
WHAT YOU WILL DO:
Health Benefits Counsel • Reviews and analyzes documents, facts, and relevant laws and rules, and works with the other Health Care Attorney(ies) to provide legal services, advice, recommendations and determinations to TRS management and staff with respect to the administration of two statewide health benefit plans and one long-term care insurance plan, and with privacy issues related to the administration of one retirement plan for Texas public school employees and retirees.• Reviews and provides advice regarding proposed state or federal legislation and regulations on health benefit coverage and health law matters.• Drafts rules and assists with rule-making issues.• Provides advice and assistance on contracting and procurement matters related to the health benefit plans, including drafting procurement documents and drafting and negotiating contracts with health plan administrators, pharmacy benefit managers, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and a variety of other vendors.• Provides advice and assistance on tax issues related to the health benefit plans, including flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement accounts, and health savings accounts.• Represents TRS in administrative hearings involving the health benefit plans, a claim for benefits, or other matters.
Federal and State Law Guidance • Coordinates with the HIPAA Privacy Officer and TRS Compliance to analyze privacy issues, including processes and procedures for the proper handling of protected health information under HIPAA and state law.• Provides advice and assistance with other legal issues relating to health and optional benefit plans and trusts, including but not limited to: (i) administration and financing of benefits arising under state statutes (e.g., Chapters 1575, 1576, and 1579 of the Texas Insurance Code); and (ii) arising under federal laws and regulations, including but not limited to the PPACA, Medicare, HIPAA (either health care issues or administrative simplification and privacy issues), Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).• Assists the Open Records Attorneys with requests made to the Legal & Compliance Department related to health care records, information, or benefits; assists in determining whether information may be public or confidential in accordance with HIPAA and state laws; and assists with meeting deadlines, briefing legal issues, and corresponding with the Attorney General’s Office and requestors.
Legal Counsel and Representation • Attends meetings of the Board, its Benefits Committee, and its Policy Committee; assists in preparing meeting materials, such as proposed resolutions and related materials with regard to the health benefit plans and health law issues.• Collaborates with the other Health Care Attorney(ies) to represent TRS in meetings and negotiations with consultants and vendors (e.g., health plan administrators and pharmacy benefit managers), governmental agencies, attorneys or other representatives of any of such persons or entities, and outside counsel representing TRS, including the Office of the Attorney General.• Collaborates with the other Health Care Attorney(ies) to coordinate with the Office of the Attorney General on litigation regarding TRS health benefit and optional benefit programs; researches and analyzes legal issues and prepares legal memoranda; and gathers and reviews evidence, prepares discovery responses and affidavits, and assists in the defense or prosecution of litigation.• Assists in selecting and monitoring outside counsel for health and optional benefit programs and matters, as appropriate, and on other assigned matters.
Research and Support • Conducts legal research with respect to assigned or referred matters.• Assists in the preparation of contracts, memoranda, briefs, rules and amendments to rules, resolutions, policies, guidelines, procedures, pleadings, letters, or other materials as assigned.• Tracks deadlines and takes appropriate action on assigned matters.• May coordinate the related work of legal assistants, specialists, and support staff.• Leads or participates in special projects as assigned.
Performs related work as assigned
WHAT YOU WILL BRING:
Education:• Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an accredited law school.
Experience:• Seven (7) years of full-time experience as a practicing attorney in at least one of the following areas: employee benefits, administrative law (open government, records management, rulemaking, etc.), or litigation.• Four (4) years of experience in health law, including interpretation and application of laws and regulations relating to health insurance, health benefits, optional benefits, or plan design and administration; negotiation of contracts with a health plan administrator or pharmacy benefits manager; or the representation of clients responsible for developing or administering a health or optional benefits plan or providing such benefits or related insurance.• Experience may be concurrent.
Registration, Certification, or Licensure:• Licensed to practice law in the State of Texas and a member in good standing of the State Bar of Texas; or hold a valid, active law license issued by another state and be eligible for Texas licensure under Board of Law Examiners Rule 13: Applicants From Other Jurisdictions (candidate must obtain Texas license within eight months of hire date).