Alabama Teaching Salaries and Benefits

alabama

When teachers speak of the typical perks of their job, they usually cite aspects like ample vacation time, making a difference in the lives of children, and helping to train the next generation of leaders.

However, while these perks are fun and important, reflecting your love of the job, they sometimes pale in comparison to the numerous job benefits you'll receive as a teacher in the Alabama school system.

Alabama's teachers are highly valued by the state – a state that believes in providing these teachers with assurances and safety nets that motivate them to stay in the system. By becoming a teacher in Alabama, you'll be able to enter government programs that will help prepare you for the future – whether that means an early retirement on a sunny beach, or ease of mind regarding your health.

Learn more about becoming a teacher. Contact schools offering teacher education/certification programs in Alabama.

Access to Affordable Health Insurance

After gaining employment in an Alabama school district, you'll have access to the Public Education Employee's Health Insurance Plan (PEEHIP).

PEEHIP is administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, and covers both individuals and families. For individuals in the plan, the overall deductible is $300, while families have a deductible of $900 for major medical services. Major medical services do not include:

  • Preventative Care
  • Physician Appointments
  • Most copays
  • Balanced-billed charges

Under the basic plan, you'll also pay a deductible of $200 a person per hospital stay.

For an entire year of coverage, you'll never pay more than $400 per person for major medical services. This out-of-pocket limit does not apply to premium costs, copays, out of network coinsurance, or deductibles.

If you need access to prescription drugs, PEEHIP will also assist you with making them more affordable. For generic drugs, you'll incur a $6 copay for a 30-day supply, or a $12 co-pay for a 90 day supply. Preferred brand drugs cost $40 for a 30-day supply, while 90-day supplies cost $80.

There are a number of procedures and medical benefits not provided under the basic PEEHIP. Some of these include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Glasses for Children
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Hearing Aids
  • Dental Care
  • Long-term Care
  • Routine Eye Care
  • Weight Loss Programs

While the basic PEEHIP plan might not cover these services, they do offer optional plans that include services such as dental and vision. Teachers who enter PEEHIP can coordinate with the service to add optional coverage to their plans. Some of these include:

  • Cancer Plan
    • $250 per day in-patient benefits for the first 90 days of hospital confinement. $500 per day thereafter.
    • $2,400 maximum charge on cancer surgeries with no limit to operations.
    • $10,000 maximum charge for a lifetime of X-Ray therapy or Chemotherapy Injections.
  • Dental Plan
    • Covers diagnostic and preventative services in addition to basic and major dental services.
    • Diagnostic and preventive care is not subject to a deductible, and is covered at 100%. This includes oral exams, teeth cleaning, fluoride applications, and x-rays.
    • Offers routine cleaning twice a year.
  • Vision Care Plan
    • One examination in any 12-month period.
    • One new/replacement set of frames per year up to $60.
    • One new prescription of contacts per year

Since PEEHIP's benefits only apply to participating healthcare facilities, it's important to check to ensure the hospital or clinic you visit accepts the insurance. Luckily, in Alabama, there are no non-participating inpatient or outpatient facilities, ensuring full coverage through your plan across the state.

Retiring in Alabama

It's never too early to start thinking about retirement.

As an Alabama teacher, you're automatically enrolled into a statewide retirement plan specifically designed for educators. The Alabama Teachers Retirement System (TRS) allows teachers to contribute a portion of their monthly earnings into a statewide fund that will eventually help play for their retirement.

As of 2012, enrollment in the program is mandatory, and requires teachers to contribute 7.5% of their paychecks to the program each month. This percentage is subject to change by the Alabama Legislature. For instance, in 2011, the contribution rate increased from 5% to 7.25%.

Once you're eligible for retirement and terminate your employment, the TRS will begin paying you retirement funds in monthly increments that are made for life. The following conditions must be met for a teacher to be eligible for retirement:

  • 10 years of service and are 62 years or older
    OR
  • 25 or more years of service at any age

Your monthly retirement paychecks are adjusted by several different factors, including a “benefit factor” of 1.65%. Your maximum monthly retirement benefit can be discovered by applying the following formula:

  • Average Final Salary x Years and months of service x Benefit Factor / 12

So, for example, if you retired after 27 years and 6 months with an average final salary of $42,000, you would receive monthly checks of $1,937.03.

If you have questions about enrollment in the Alabama TRS, or want to learn how to apply, discover more about retiring in Alamaba.

 

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