All people enrolled in Texas Employees Group Benefits
Program (GBP) health insurance plans must certify their status as tobacco users
or non-users. Adult GBP participants who do not certify their tobacco-use
status will be charged the monthly Tobacco User Premium-even if they don't use
You must certify your status as a tobacco user or non-user as
well as the status of any of your dependents enrolled in a state health
plan-even if you and your covered dependents don't use tobacco. Additionally,
state law offers tobacco users in the GBP coverage for prescription drugs to
help them quit tobacco. It also authorizes charging higher premiums for people
who continue to use tobacco.
products are cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, dip, or
any other product that contains tobacco. Electronic or e-cigarettes that do not
contain tobacco and are designed expressly for smoking cessation are not
considered tobacco products. Nicotine replacement products, such as gum and
patches, are not considered tobacco products.
A tobacco user is a person
who has used any Tobacco Products five (5) or more times within the
pasts three (3) consecutive months. If you or any of your dependents
enrolled in a state health plan use tobacco, you will have to pay the higher
The monthly Tobacco User Premium is $30 per tobacco
user who is certified as a tobacco user (up to $90 per household). This cost
is in addition to your health insurance premiums.
The charge for a child
is the same regardless of how many children (age 18 or older) in the household
Contact your doctor who
can prescribe cessation drugs.
Your GBP health plan offers tobacco
cessation resources, including counseling. Contact your health plan for more
information. You can also see if your employer offers a wellness program.
Choose to Quit
is a program that encourages a tobacco-free lifestyle and allows tobacco users to have their Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) tobacco user premiums waived for the plan year. (Program rules apply.
Choose to Quit program rules are as follows
ERS will review your form and send a letter letting you know if you are approved to have your tobacco-user premium waived for the remainder of the plan year. You may also be approved to receive a refund of all tobacco-user premiums you have already paid for the plan year.
For more information, please see the
frequently asked questions about Choose to Quit
You will need to change your
certification status or risk a penalty, fraud investigation, or termination
from the GBP health plans. Any member caught falsifying information will be
charged the premium amount owed for the entire time the member was employed by
the State during the period the increased premiums for tobacco use were in
If you have witnessed someone insured through the GBP,
including a dependent, using a tobacco product five or more times within the
past three consecutive months, please report
this information to ERS.
200 East 18th Street Austin, TX 78701 ( map)
Toll Free (877) 275-4377
Relay Texas, TTY 7-1-1 or (800) 735-2989