Fall Enrollment begins October 31 for Medicare-eligible retirees
There are no major changes in the plans offered to Medicare-eligible participants in the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP). Retirees who pay health insurance premiums for themselves and/or their Medicare-eligible dependents will see an increase of about 20% in premiums for the HealthSelectSM Medicare Advantage Plan preferred provider organization (MA PPO). This is due to the rising cost of prescription drugs. A few other plans also will have premium increases: the State of Texas Dental Choice PlanSM, and optional and dependent life insurance. You’ll find more information in your Fall Enrollment packet. If you’re a Medicare-eligible retiree, it’s still a good idea to take note of Fall Enrollment dates and review your options.
The Fall Enrollment period for Medicare-eligible retirees in the GBP is October 31 through November 18. It is the one time of the year you can enroll in coverage for yourself and/or your eligible dependents without a qualifying life event. (Throughout the year, Medicare-eligible retirees may drop any coverage, reduce optional life insurance coverage or change from one health plan to the other without a qualifying life event. To enroll in coverage outside Fall Enrollment, you must have a qualifying life event, such as marriage, divorce or loss of other coverage.)
What's new for Plan Year 2023
As noted above, premiums for the HealthSelect MA PPO will increase. In addition, premiums for the State of Texas Dental Choice PlanSM preferred provider organization will increase about 2.5%. Premiums for optional life insurance — including Optional Term Life Insurance, Fixed Optional Life Insurance ($10,000 policy) and Dependent Term Life Insurance — will increase by 5% or more, depending on your age and coverage. Premium increases will be effective January 1 and new rates will be listed in your Personal Benefits Enrollment Statement that comes in your Fall Enrollment packet.
You have the option of two health plans:
- HealthSelectSM Medicare Advantage Plan preferred provider organization (MA PPO) or
- HealthSelectSM Secondary.
You can switch health plans during Fall Enrollment or any time of the year. If you and/or your dependents are newly enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B you must provide the Medicare information (located on the Medicare card) to start the process to enroll in the HealthSelect MA PPO. You can do this through your ERS OnLine account or by calling ERS toll- free at (877) 275-4377. View the Health Plans Comparison Chart in your enrollment packet or online to learn about the differences between the two plans.
Watch for your enrollment guide in the mail
ERS will send you a Fall Enrollment packet in October with information about your benefits. You also can visit the Fall Enrollment page on the ERS website to view the Fall Enrollment guide, premium rates and information from plan administrators. Benefits enrollment for retirees and survivors not yet eligible for Medicare ended in July. Any retiree or survivor can change any of their benefit elections within 31 days of a qualifying life event, or they can end or reduce coverage at any time.
Get answers to your benefits questions
Depending on conditions related to COVID-19, ERS plans to host a limited number of in-person enrollment events in major cities. We will continue to offer convenient online webinars, as well. Find a schedule of enrollment events and webinar registration information in your Fall Enrollment guide or on the ERS website.