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HealthSelect - transition to BlueCross and BlueShield of Texas

BCBSTX will become the new TPA on September 1, 2017. UnitedHealthcare will continue to serve as the HealthSelect and Consumer Directed HealthSelect TPA until August 31, 2017.

For information about plan benefits go to

You can also call BCBSTX toll-free at (800) 252-8039, Monday - Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT or Saturday 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. CT.

Either over the phone or by live chat, a BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant can support you by:

  • helping you find a PCP, specialist or other provider in the BCBSTX network;
  • finding out whether your provider or scheduled service requires a referral or prior authorization;
  • checking the status of your referrals and prior authorizations;
  • providing you with information about your plan’s benefits and coverage;
  • giving you cost estimates for health care services or procedures before you go to the doctor or hospital;
  • scheduling appointments for you or
  • connecting you with a nurse to help you take care of your health when you have received a diagnosis or if you are managing a medical condition.

Go to and click on “find a doctor or hospital” in the Find a Provider box. Then click on the box that applies to your coverage. Or speak with a BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant by calling toll-free (800) 252-8039, Monday - Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT or Saturday 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. CT. 

Most primary care physicians and other current providers will be in the BCBSTX HealthSelect network.

To learn about BCBSTX's network recruitment efforts, please see the network FAQs

The change in plan administrators does not directly affect rates or out-of-pocket costs like copays and coinsurance. ERS manages the contract and sets rates, eligibility and enrollment for all the health plans in the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program. ERS also sets the plan design, including copays, coinsurance and deductibles.

Rates could change when the new plan year starts on September 1, 2017. If they do, it will be because of state funding changes, rising health costs or other factors – not the new TPA.

Yes, you can see a non-network provider. However, you will have to pay higher out-of-pocket costs, including an out-of-network deductible in HealthSelect of Texas or a higher deductible in Consumer Directed HealthSelect. It costs much less to see a provider who is in the HealthSelect network. Beginning in late May, you will be able to call BCBSTX if you need assistance in finding a new provider who is in the network.

Deductibles and out-of-pocket coinsurance maximums reset on January 1 of each year. On September 1, 2017, any deductible or total out-of-pocket maximum amounts already met for 2017 will carry over from UnitedHealthcare to BCBSTX. But they will reset as usual on January 1, 2018.

Active employees and retirees not enrolled in Medicare can change to another health plan during Summer Enrollment if there is a regional HMO available in their area. Retirees enrolled in Medicare can change their health plan at any time during the year.

If you have a qualifying life event (QLE), like getting married or divorced or having a child at any time during the year, you have 31 days after the QLE to change health plans.

Your current coverage under HealthSelect of Texas or Consumer Directed HealthSelect will continue unless you change your plan during your enrollment period or because of a qualifying life event.

New health insurance ID cards will be distributed to participants enrolled in HealthSelect or Consumer Directed HealthSelect in August 2017 before the TPA change takes place on September 1, 2017. 

If you have not received a new medical ID card, call a BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant at (800) 252-8039 toll-free, Monday - Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT or Saturday 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. CT.
No. The prescription drug programs have different plan administrators:
  • the administrator for the HealthSelect Prescription Drug Program (covering HealthSelect of Texas and Consumer Directed HealthSelect participants) is OptumRx, an affiliate of UnitedHealthcare. In August 2017, OptumRx will mail new ID cards to participants enrolled in HealthSelect or Consumer Directed HealthSelect,
  • the administrator for HealthSelect Medicare Rx (covering HealthSelect Medicare Advantage, HealthSelect Secondary and KelseyCare Advantage participants) is UnitedHealthcare, and
  • Community First Health Plans, KelseyCare powered by Community Health Choice and Scott & White Health Plan manage their own prescription drug programs.
No. The HealthSelect Medicare Advantage plan is administered by Humana. Participants in that plan will not be affected by this change.
No. This change applies only to HealthSelect of Texas and Consumer Directed HealthSelect. If you are enrolled in an HMO, you will not be affected.
ERS manages the contracts and makes sure the TPAs are providing the agreed-to level of service. TPAs offer cost savings, allowing the state and participants to take advantage of efficiencies available through large insurance companies. Because ERS uses a TPA, HealthSelect of Texas has very low administrative costs. In recent years, administration has accounted for about 3% of overall HealthSelect costs. That means 97% of health insurance funds pay directly for health care services, not for things like processing claims. In similar private-sector health plans, administration costs an average of about 12%.
Under state law, ERS must rebid the contract for the HealthSelect third-party administrator (TPA) on a regular basis. Rebidding the contract helps ERS make sure health plan participants and the State of Texas are getting the best possible value and service.

The ERS Board of Trustees awarded the HealthSelect TPA contract to UnitedHealthcare in 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) served as the administrator before that.