BIG CHANGE FOR STATE WORKERS’ INSURANCE
As of Sept. 1, health care to be provided by Blue Cross, which won bid.
A big change is coming to the state’s main health insurance plans that cover nearly a half million current and retired state employees and their dependents.
On Sept. 1, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas will take over administration of the health plans under a new six-year, $281.2 million contract awarded in December by the Employees Retirement System of Texas. Blue Cross and Blue Shield won the contract by underbidding United Healthcare Services Inc., which has administered the plans since 2012.
The Employees Retirement System of Texas provides health insurance for an estimated 440,000 people and is self-funded, meaning it establishes benefits and pays claims. But it uses a thirdparty administrator to manage a network of medical professionals and process claims.
Under the successful bid from Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s total cost of the health plans is estimated at about $25.8 billion over the six years of the new contract — more than $1 billion less than United’s proposal. The biggest difference is a lower projected reimbursement rate to health-care providers in Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s network,