Health benefits for retirees
Retiree health benefits are offered through the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) and are available to most State of Texas retirees and their eligible dependents. You need at least 10 years of service credit with an agency or higher education institution that participates in the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) to be eligible for GBP retiree insurance. Health plan options for retirees are based on Medicare enrollment. When a retiree becomes eligible for Medicare and enrolls in Medicare Parts A and B, they will need to call ERS to be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan
After a retiree enrolls in Medicare Parts A and B, the next step is to call ERS and provide the information on their Medicare card. This will begin the enrollment process into HealthSelect Medicare Rx (Part D prescription drug plan), administered by UnitedHealthcare, and if they choose, HealthSelect℠ Medicare Advantage, administered by Humana.
- Retirees enrolled in Medicare who live in the Houston area also have the option of KelseyCare Advantage, a Medicare Advantage HMO.
- Medicare-enrolled retirees can choose to stay in HealthSelect of Texas, but their coverage will change to HealthSelect Secondary.
- Medicare and non-Medicare retirees can participate in a non-Medicare Advantage HMO if they live in the HMO’s service area.
- Medicare retirees cannot make or receive contributions to a health savings account (HSA) and therefore should not be enrolled in Consumer Directed HealthSelect.
Health plan options are listed below. Some are available only to retirees enrolled in Medicare.
Health Plan Premium Rates
The State of Texas pays for at least part of most retirees’ monthly health care rates (or premiums). This is called the state contribution. If the state doesn’t pay 100% of the premium, the retiree pays the remainder out of his or her annuity. The state’s contribution is based on available funding provided by the Texas Legislature and depends on three things:
- whether the retiree was a full-time or part-time employee at the time of retirement,
- whether the retiree had at least five years of employment at a State of Texas agency or higher education institution on September 1, 2014, and
- how many years the retiree worked for the State of Texas.
Learn more information about “tiered” retiree insurance contributions, including the tiered rates for the current plan year.
IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT INSURANCE: Health and other insurance benefits for employees and retirees are subject to change based on available state funding. The Texas Legislature determines the level of funding for such benefits and has no continuing obligation to provide those benefits beyond each fiscal year.
Health coverage for Retirees