HealthSelect Switches to Blue Cross Soon

As reported here earlier, the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) Board of Trustees has selected Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) as HealthSelect plan administrator, starting on Sept. 1.

BCBSTX has served previously as administrator for HealthSelect of Texas. The current contract, which began September 1, 2012, was awarded to UnitedHealthcare. You should have received official notification of the switch, which will probably not affect most individuals significantly. However, please note the information below about possible problems with access to health providers.

Here is a useful link from ERS, which includes a Q&A section, and details of how and why the contract is awarded. Not everyone who receives health coverage from ERS will be affected, only those in HealthSelect.

The most important issue for most members of HealthSelect is whether their current physicians will be part of the BCBSTX network. The link above should be useful in answering this question, as you can access the list of providers.

Based on past experience, when plan administrators change, some members may not find their current physicians on the list. Generally, those in major metropolitan areas are able to find alternative providers in the network, but changing doctors is still upsetting to many people.

Have a look at this article in the Wichita Falls Times Record News, about an unfortunate situation in that city. Please note that the article discusses “state employees,” but community college educators who are HealthSelect members may face the same situation.