Insurance Benefits in Retirement

Insurance Benefits in Retirement for Former Employees

Retiree Insurance and Related Benefits, as Compared to Active Employee Benefits

Retiree Benefits Active Employee Benefits
Health + $2,500 Basic Term Life + Prescription Drug Coverage Health + $5,000 Basic Term Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) + Prescription Drug Coverage
Optional Term Life - Elections 1-2 or $10,000 Fixed Optional Life Optional Term Life - Elections 1-4
Dependent Term Life - $2,500 Dependent Term Life - $5,000
Long-term Care (existing accounts only)
TexFlex - Health care and limited flexible spending account:
  • Can choose to continue participation through COBRA and file claims for eligible expenses incurred throughout participation
  • Cannot enroll after retired or make contributions from annuity check
Dependent care and commuter spending accounts:
  • Cannot enroll or continue enrollment
The TexFlex debit card is deactivated on the last day of the month in which your employment ends.
TexFlex - Active employees, including retirees with active employee benefits, can contribute to and use funds in TexFlex health or limited, dependent care and/or commuter spending accounts.
Texa$aver - Retirees can keep their Texa$aver accounts and can roll over funds from other retirement accounts into their Texa$aver accounts.
  • Retirees who have not returned to work cannot enroll in, have a loan on, or contribute to a Texa$aver account.
Texa$aver - Active employees automatically enrolled in the 401 (k) at 1% 
  • Retirees who have returned to work for State of Texas agencies and participating higher education institutions can contribute to their Texa$aver accounts, whether they are enrolled in retiree benefits or active employee benefits.
- AD&D
- Short-term and long-term disability insurance
- Premium conversion (tax savings)

ERS benefits are subject to change without notice and depend on funding by the Texas Legislature, as well as member contributions.

Note: If a state agency hires a return-to-work retiree who retired on or after September 1, 2009, the agency pays ERS a surcharge. The surcharge is equal to the amount of the state's retirement contribution for an active employee. As of May 31, 2009, a state agency cannot hire a retiree receiving an annuity from ERS until at least 90 days after the retirement date.

Health insurance benefits when retiring before age 65

  • Under current policy, if you retire with at least 10 years of eligible service credit and you do not meet the Rule of 80 (Service Credit + Age = 80 or above) at the time of retirement, you will have access to health insurance under certain conditions. Evidence of insurability (EOI) is not required for health insurance in retirement. if you retire under age 65, directly from active state employment, you become eligible for health insurance on the first of the month following your 65th birthday. You must elect health insurance, by calling ERS, before the first day of the calendar month following your 65th birthday. If your 65th birthday falls on the first day of a month, the effective date will still be the first of the following month.
  • If you retire at or over age 65 from non-contributing status (terminated state employment before retirement eligibility), you are subject to a 60-day health coverage waiting period. You must elect health insurance, by calling ERS the month before your 65th birthday. Your health coverage will begin on the first of the month following the 60th day after your retirement date. If the 60th day falls on the first day of a month, your coverage starts on that day.
  • Interim insurance - If you retire before age 65 and don’t meet the Rule of 80, you may be eligible for up to 18 months of COBRA coverage. In addition, a retiree and his or her dependents are eligible for GBP interim insurance until age 65. Premiums for interim insurance are much higher than COBRA premiums, and retirees and dependents who are not yet eligible for Medicare might find alternatives on the Affordable Care Act marketplace. Monthly interim rates for Plan Year 2019 (September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2019) for HealthSelect of Texas are: 
    • Member Only - $1,743.28
    • Member + Spouse - $3,748.08
    • Member + Child - $3,085.60
    • Member + Family - $5,090.40