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
Nicotine replacement products like gum and patches are not
considered tobacco products.
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 use tobacco.
Contact your doctor who can prescribe cessation drugs.
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.
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 effect.
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