Changing family, changing benefits: Knowing when and how to update your coverage

June 05, 2019
Father and mother read a book to their babyAs life-changing events go, bringing a baby into the family qualifies as a big one, and Eric Posadas was about as prepared for it—benefits-wise—as he could be.

Posadas, a cybersecurity analyst at Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), attended a Summer Enrollment fair a good six months before his son was born to find out which benefits could best protect his growing family’s health and financial well-being.

He started with reviewing his health insurance elections. “I was enrolled in HealthSelect of Texas® and I wanted to verify that my wife, Jodi, was enrolled,” Posadas said. She was, but if she hadn’t been, Posadas would have added her to the plan during his Summer Enrollment phase. “Jodi’s pregnancy was considered to be a high-risk—and HealthSelect has great pre-natal care,” Posadas explained. The couple knew that Jodi would need specialists’ care, “and HealthSelect covered much of that.”

Mother and father holding new babyThe dad-to-be then reviewed his optional benefits and decided to apply to increase his life insurance. “I signed up for Optional Term Life Insurance—four times my annual salary.” Posadas also opted to get short-term and long-term disability insurance through the Texas Income Protection Plan (TIPP), which he had declined in previous years. Any doubt that he needed such coverage vanished the first time he heard his baby’s heartbeat. “I just want to make sure I can provide for Noah, even if something happens to me.” (He had to go through evidence of insurability for both the increased life insurance and the TIPP disability insurance, but he passed both and now has coverage.) 

Like many a new parent, Posadas’ days since the baby’s arrival have passed in a joyful, but sleep-deprived haze. He was grateful, therefore, that adding Noah to his health plan was “easy-peasy—I just logged onto my account online and got it done.” Of course, Posadas did so within 31 days of the qualifying life event (Noah’s birth), filled out the online dependent child certification and sent in verifying documentation by the verification deadline to complete the process.

Posadas is also thankful for a workplace that supports a work-life balance (see Cybersecurity in the natural world). “I’m in the information technology field; I could get a job in the private sector that may pay more, but I don’t want to trade a sense of community for money,” Posadas said. At TPWD, “I consider my colleagues as family.”

And, as tired as he and his wife are, Posadas says they are blissfully happy. “It’s been great, truly. We’ll happily trade a few hours of sleep for some baby snuggles any day.”
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Cybersecurity in the natural world

He’s not a game warden or park ranger, but if you visit any Texas state park, you’ll be protected, in part, by the work Eric Posadas does every day. A cybersecurity analyst at Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD), Posadas (along with the rest of his cybersecurity team) helps safeguard any personal information you may have to share with the agency.

“When a Texan goes camping, for example, they have to provide the license number of the vehicle they drive into the park; they may also reserve their camping spot by paying with a credit card,” Posadas explained. That’s the kind of information TPWD wants to keep secure.

A native Texan (he was raised in Muleshoe), Posadas appreciates the “great variety of environments” the state offers and has enjoyed hiking and trail running in many of those locales. As an outdoorsman, Posadas also feels right at home at TPWD. “I really believe in what we do,” he said. And, now that Posadas has a little Texan to protect, he finds even deeper meaning in helping to conserve Texas’ natural and cultural resources—especially for future generations. “It’s cool to be part of that mission.”