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Board approves changes to employee health benefits plans

2015 August 14
by HISD Communications

Medical insurance premiums for 2016 may not be dropping like they did back in 2014, but for the third year in a row, HISD employees will see no increase in their HISD medical premium rates, thanks to a new plan approved by the Board of Education on Aug. 13, 2015. There are, however, some changes for 2016 that employees will want to be aware of. Below is a brief summary of several of them:

  • Out-of-Pocket Limits: Medical and prescription out-of-pocket maximums are now combined.
  • New Rx provider: The pharmacy benefits provider is changing from CVS Caremark to Express Scripts.
  • HRA roll over: Health reimbursement accounts will continue for 2016 and employees can carry over all unused HRA balances from 2015 to 2016.
  • New fee schedule for out-of-network services: This will mainly impact employees who use an out-of-network emergency room, as they may be billed for costs that exceed the fee schedule.

There will also be changes to the dental and vision benefits providers, but the impact on employees should be minimal. The dental benefits vendor change will both save most employees money, as well as expand the network of providers. This means most employees will be able to continue seeing their current dentist, or look for a new one. The new dental and vision plans will also save employees money — through expanded coverage of certain procedures (e.g. implants) and products (tinted/coated lenses, bifocals, discounted second pair of glasses, etc.).

Viverae will be the district’s new wellness vendor, but the popular annual 4 for $40 weight-loss challenge will continue next year, and new wellness programs (stress management, maternity, and financial) are being added.

More information will be communicated in the near future which will further explain the changes and their impact on employees’ benefits.

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