Summer Enrollment—that one time of year when you can make changes to your health benefits without having a qualifying life event (QLE)—has ended. Some of you made benefits changes; others decided to continue with what they already had.
What are some next steps? We talked with Cynthia and Lisa in ERS’ Customer Benefits Division for some tips.
Confirm your enrollments
“Whenever you make a Summer Enrollment election change, look for a confirmation from ERS,” Cynthia advised. The confirmation will be sent immediately to the email you have on file or it will be mailed to the address on file at ERS.
“Hold onto your confirmation letter so you have a record of what changes you made,” Cynthia said. Then, when you get your October paycheck, make sure the pay stub matches the elections listed on your confirmation letter.
If there is a conflict, first talk with your benefits coordinator or human resources office, said Lisa. “Your coordinators can help confirm if the elections you made are reflected accurately.”
Contacting program administrators with questions about coverage and care
Remember that ERS’ main role during Summer Enrollment is to enroll you in the plans of your choice, said Cynthia. “We arrange to have your eligibility verified, but the best source for information about coverage and other program features is the third-party administrator (TPA).”
If you have a question about how to set up a primary care physician or use dental or vision benefits, go the plan’s website or call the plan’s customer service center, Lisa advised. “You should ask the TPA questions about anything aside from eligibility and enrollment.” (A list of TPAs and links to their contact information for ERS benefits can be found here.)
New Consumer Directed HealthSelectSM members: Open your HSA
If you enrolled in Consumer Directed HealthSelect for the first time, you’ll need to open your health savings account (HSA) with Optum Bank. Even if you don’t plan on contributing your own money to the account or already have an HSA at another bank, you have to have an Optum Bank account to get the state’s monthly contribution. (The state will deposit funds only in Optum Bank HSAs.)
To open an account:
- Go to http://www.optumbank.com.
- Click the Enroll Now button on the left side of the page or the Open an HSA tab at the top of the page.
- Follow the instructions on the Health Savings Account (HSA) Enrollment page. If you need help, call the number provided.
Please note that you must open your Optum Bank HSA yourself. ERS or your HR department cannot do it for you.
If you enrolled your dependents—children or spouse—in health coverage during Summer Enrollment, you need to send documents proving their eligibility. If you haven’t already, you should get a letter from Alight Solutions very soon. Please pay close attention to any letters, calls or emails from Alight. If you’re having trouble getting the needed documents by the deadline, call Alight before the deadline to talk about your options. If you don’t send documents proving a dependent’s eligibility by the deadline, that dependent will be dropped from coverage in all Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) plans. You won’t be able to enroll them again until next Summer Enrollment. (Learn more about dependent eligibility verification.)
Source: ERS News About Your Benefits (August 2018)