Retiree Insurance Eligibility

  • ERS retiree insurance eligibility

    You need at least 10 years of service at a state agency or higher education institution participating in the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) to qualify for benefits as a retiree. This excludes the University of Texas and Texas A&M University systems and all public independent school districts.

    If you meet this requirement, you can retire with GBP benefits when you’re 65 or when you meet the Rule of 80. If you retire directly from state employment, you can continue your health insurance without a break in coverage. If you don’t retire directly from state employment or you retire prior to age 65, you may have a break in health coverage or have a health coverage waiting period.

    Rule of 80 with 10 years of service

    Contributing member

    Most ERS retirees who met the Rule of 80 have at least 10 years of GBP service credit and are eligible for GBP retiree benefits. In this situation—retiring directly from state employment—you won’t have a break in coverage or a health coverage waiting period.

    Non-contributing member

    If you leave state employment and later retire meeting the Rule of 80 as a non-contributing member, you can enroll in GBP retiree benefits when you retire. Your health coverage would start on the first of the month following your 60thday of retirement. If your 60th day of retirement falls on the first of the month, then your coverage starts on that day.

    Age 65 with 10 years

    Contributing member

    If you’re a contributing member (currently working for the state) with at least 10 years of GBP service, you can retire at age 60 without meeting the Rule of 80. You could continue your optional benefits, such as dental, Optional Term Life Insurance or Dependent Term Life Insurance without a break in coverage. However, you wouldn’t be eligible for retiree health insurance until the first of the month following your 65th birthday.  

    Non-contributing member

    If you retire under age 65 as a non-contributing member (not currently working for the state) with at least 10 years of GBP service, without meeting the Rule of 80, you’re eligible for GBP health insurance at age 65. You may have a health coverage waiting period. Your optional benefits would begin the first of the month following your 65th birthday, as long as 60 days have passed since your retirement date.

    TRS retiree insurance eligibility

    Some members may have TRS retirement, but are eligible for retiree insurance through the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) with ERS. If this applies to you and you have at least 10 years of service with an agency that participates in the GBP, you may be eligible for benefits at retirement.

    Your benefits coordinator at your agency or institution confirms with ERS that you are eligible for retiree benefits. He or she will submit a TRS/ORP Insurance Enrollment form on your behalf. The form verifies that you’re eligible for GBP retiree benefits.

    Eligibility is partially based on your last place of public employment. If your last position was with an independent school district (ISD), you won’t be eligible for GBP benefits. In that case, you can contact TRS to see if you may be eligible for insurance through that system.

    Working for the state before September 1, 2001 with at least 10 years combined GBP and TRS time

    You may qualify for GBP retiree benefits if you have:

    • At least 10 years of TRS and ERS combined service;
    • Worked for an employer that participates in the GBP for at least three of those 10 years; and
    • You had the three years by August 31, 2001 and continued contributing to get the three years.

    Employers participating in the GBP include Texas state agencies and public higher education institutions, excluding UT and TAMU systems. Public ISDs do not participate in the GBP. 

    Working for the state after August 31, 2001

    You must have 10 years of service with a state agency or GBP-participating higher education institution to receive retiree insurance benefits. 

    Working for both ISD and higher education institution

    If you work for both an ISD and a GBP-participating higher education institution, your last place of employment is determined by the last day of employment TRS has certified. If it was with the higher education institution, you may be eligible for GBP retiree benefits.

    ORP retiree insurance eligibility

    Even though your retirement isn’t with ERS or TRS, you may be eligible for GBP retiree benefits if you have at least 10 of service with a GBP-participating higher education institution. You may also be eligible if three of your 10 years of Optional Retirement Program (ORP) service started before September 1, 2001 and you continued your employment there until you accrued three years. You would have to have an ORP account from which you’re eligible to start drawing payments. Withdrawing or rolling over the account to another account will make you ineligible for GBP retiree benefits. Eligibility is partially based on your last place of public employment. If your last position was with an ISD, you won’t be eligible for GBP retiree benefits. You can contact TRS to see if you may be eligible for insurance through that system.

    Proportionate Retirement Program - CSCD, TCDRS, TMRS retiree insurance eligibility

    Three years prior to September 1, 2001

    You need 10 years of service in a GBP-participating agency to be eligible for benefits through the GBP as a retiree. You may also qualify for GBP retiree benefits if you had the three years by August 31, 2001 and continued contributing to get the three years.

    If you have less than 10 years in the GBP, you may be subject to tiered retiree insurance and will have to pay 100% of the premium. You can still have the coverage, but it will cost you much more.