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  • Tobacco Policies

    Under state law, all people enrolled in Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) health insurance plans must certify their status as tobacco users or non-users. If you have any questions, please visit our Q&A page on tobacco policies.

    No longer using tobacco?If you or any dependent you cover has quit using tobacco, sign in to your account and click the Tobacco User Certification link to certify a change in tobacco use status.

    Reporting fraud—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.

  • Certify tobacco use or non-use

    How to certify that you and your covered dependents do or do not use tobacco products.

    Physician’s Affidavit Form

    Complete this form if you are diagnosed by a physician as having a health factor that prevents you from discontinuing the use of Tobacco Products.

  • Outline of the state of Texas 
  • Tobacco User Premium

    If you and your dependents aren’t certified, you will be charged a monthly premium of $30 each (up to $90 per household per month). The following charts provide an overview of who will pay an additional $30 premium each month (up to $90 per household).

     

    Certified Tobacco User 

     Certified Non-user  

    Failed to Certify  

    Member 

    Pays

    Doesn't Pay

    Pays

    Covered adult dependent (18 years and older)

    Pays 

    Doesn't Pay 

    Pays 

    Covered child dependent (younger than 18 years)

    Pays 

    Doesn't Pay 

    Doesn't Pay 

     

    Tobacco users and those who fail to certify(not including minor children who fail to certify)  Monthly fee 
    Member only $30
    Spouse only $30
    Child* only $30
    Member + spouse $60
    Member + child* $60
    Spouse + child* $60
    Member + spouse + child* (Family) $90
    *The charge for a child is the same regardless of how many children in the household use tobacco. 

     Please note:

    • Certified tobacco users of any age—adults and minors—will be charged.
    • Only adults who fail to certify will be charged the additional premium. Those under 18 who are not certified will not be charged.
    • The charge for covered children—adults or minors—who use tobacco is the same, no matter how many children in the household use tobacco.

    The charge for covered adult children who fail to certify is the same, no matter how many adult children in the household fail to certify.

  • Quit tobacco image
  • Free services to help you quit tobacco

    You can get help to quit tobacco so you don’t have to pay more for health insurance. All health insurance plans available to State of Texas employees and retirees offer tobacco cessation programs as part of their overall wellness initiatives. Click on the link for your insurance plan to find out more:

    In addition, certain prescription tobacco cessation drugs—Zyban; its generic, bupropion; and Chantix—are covered.

    Benefits of quitting

    If you quit using tobacco, you will:

    • improve your health,
    • benefit from not having to pay the Tobacco User Premium, and
    • save money previously spent on tobacco products.
  • Physician's statement on tobacco use

    If you need to send ERS a physician’s statement or affidavit stating that you (or your dependent) cannot stop using tobacco products, the information in that statement or affidavit is considered Protected Health Information (PHI), and you should not give it to your benefits coordinator to send to ERS for you. You can send the statement or affidavit by fax, mail, or overnight delivery, or deliver it in person to ERS.

    • Fax: Write “Tobacco Cessation Program” on the fax cover sheet and fax to the number on the form.
    • Mail: Send to ERS, Attention Tobacco Cessation Program, P.O. Box 13207, Austin, TX 78711-3207.
    • Overnight Delivery: Send to ERS, 200 E. 18th Street, Austin, TX 78701.
    • In person: There is a secure drop box on the left side of the front door of the ERS building—200 E. 18th Street, Austin, TX  78701—that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.