Under state law effective January 1, 2012, tobacco users enrolled in a state health plan will pay higher premiums for their health insurance coverage. If you have any questions, please visit our Q&A on tobacco policies. Even if you don’t use tobacco and don’t cover family members who use tobacco, you must certify your status as a non-tobacco user, as well as the status of any dependents who are enrolled in a state health plan.
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.
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.
Use your online account to certify tobacco use by following these steps.
Common questions about the higher premiums for tobacco users starting January 1, 2012.
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 fax, mail, send via overnight delivery, or deliver the statement or affidavit to ERS in person.
You can get help to quit tobacco so you don’t have to pay more for health insurance. HealthSelect and the HMOs that participate in the State of Texas health plan offer tobacco cessation programs:
Certain prescription tobacco cessation drugs—Zyban, its generic Bupropion, and Chantix—are now covered.
If you quit using tobacco, you will:
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