Employee Benefits

Insurance Information

Retirement Information

Answers

Holidays Schedule

Labor Day
Monday, September 2, 2019

Thanksgiving
Wednesday, November 27 - Friday, November 29, 2019

Winter Break
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - Friday, January 3, 2020

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, January 20, 2020

Spring Break
Monday, March 9 - Friday, March 13, 2020

Good Friday
Friday, April 10, 2020

Memorial Day
Monday, May 25, 2020

Independence Day
Friday, July 3, 2020
Back to all questions

Blinn Employee Discounts

Discount Purchase Program

Fitness

Health Select BCBS Fitness

Scott & White Health Program

Brenham Fitness

http://www.brenhamfitness.com/index.php

Kruse Center

Planet Fitness

Apartment Living

Hudson Trails Apartments Bryan - Preferred Discount Program which offers Blinn faculty & staff 3% off monthly rent, $0 admin fee and ½ deposit.

The Curve at Crescent Pointe

Forest Pines Apartment Homes

Wood Trail Apartments Preferred Employer Discount Program

Car Rentals

AVIS Car Rental
Employees can save UP TO 25% OFF Base Rates at Avis.  Click on the link below or call 800-331-1212 and use discount code AWD#: D134100.
https://rentalperks.com/discounts/avis

BUDGET Car Rental
Employees can save Up to 25% OFF Base Rates at Budget.  Click on the link below or call 800-455-2848 and use discount code BCD#: Z408900.
https://rentalperks.com/discounts/budget  

HERTZ Car Rental
Employees can save Up to 25% OFF Base Rates at Hertz.  Click on the link below or call 800-654-2210 and use discount code CDP#: 1742729.
https://rentalperks.com/discounts/hertz

Home

Dynamic Drains of Texas LLC 10% off plumbing

Computer Services

Microsoft:
https://my.blinn.edu/TechnologyServices/Pages/Microsoft-Licensing.aspx

Dell:
https://my.blinn.edu/TechnologyServices/Pages/Dell-Personal-Purchase.aspx

Wireless Services

AT&T Discount- Save 15%-18% on qualifying wireless service at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint

Discount Purchase Program by Beneplace.

Find discounts on a variety of products and services, with no fees or membership requirements.


Back to all questions

Employee Handbook

Download Blinn College’s Employee Handbook (PDF)
Back to all questions

Pay Schedules

Download Blinn College’s Pay Schedules (PDF)
Back to all questions

Insurance Overview

Blinn College provides an attractive benefits package to meets the needs of employees and their families, including medical, dental, vision, life insurance, AD&D, dependent life, and disability insurance. 

Blinn College offers eligible employees insurance plans provided by the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) through their state-mandated plan referred to as the Group Benefits Plan (GBP). An employee may choose to enroll or decline any insurance coverage with ERS for themselves and their eligible dependents.    

Medical insurance and the TexFlex Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) may be subject to a waiting period of 60 days. For most new employees, this means that your ERS Health insurance coverage and TexFlex Health Care FSA will not be effective until the first of the month following a 60-day waiting period from your date of hire.  However, optional coverages may be effective on the date of hire. 

New employees have 60 days to elect health insurance and 31 days to select optional coverages.  Thereafter, an employee may only make changes to their coverage during an annual enrollment period or within 31 days of a qualifying life event (QLE).  Evidence of Insurability may be required for certain coverages at the time of enrollment.

Health and other insurance benefits for Blinn College employees and retirees are subject to change based on available state funding. The Texas Legislature determines the level of funding for such benefits and does not have a continuing obligation to provide those benefits beyond each fiscal year.

Refer to the ERS insurance booklets, contact ERS online at  www.ers.texas.gov  or contact Human Resources for a more detailed explanation.

Resources

Health Insurance Plans

The medical plans offered by Blinn College are administered by the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS). Most employees have a choice of three (3) comprehensive medical plans that provide coverage for preventive care, doctor visits, and hospital care and prescription drugs.  Your ERS medical coverage includes $5,000 of Basic Life insurance and Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage.


Back to all questions

HealthSelect and Consumer Directed HealthSelect (BlueCross BlueShield of Texas)

Resources

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is the HealthSelect plan administrator. You should register for a Blue Access for Members℠ online account. To register:

  1. go to   www.healthselectoftexas.com 
  2. at the top right of the homepage, click the Log In button.
  3. follow the directions in the drop-down menu.

Once registered, you will be able to log in from your phone, computer or tablet any time to:

  • order a replacement ID card or print a temporary card
  • check claims status
  • review Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements
  • confirm employee and dependent coverage
  • find a doctor or hospital and get driving directions using Provider Finder®
  • use the Provider Finder tool to research and estimate costs for common health care services and treatments

If you need assistance, they can call a BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant toll-free at (800) 252-8039, Monday–Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT or Saturday 7 a.m.–3 p.m. CT.

Consumer Directed HealthSelect

Consumer Directed HealthSelect  SM is a high-deductible health plan paired with a health savings account (HSA). If you are enrolled in Medicare, you are not eligible for this plan. Consumer Directed HealthSelect has the same provider network as HealthSelect of Texas, which includes more than 50,000 providers throughout Texas. You do not need to choose a primary care physician. You will pay less for your health care if you see providers who are in the HealthSelect network.

You are responsible for paying the full cost of health care (except preventive care) and  prescriptions until you reach your annual deductible of $2,100 per individual or $4,200 per family for in-network services and $4,200 per individual or $8,400 per family for out-of-network services. Deductibles reset on January 1 each year.

Be prepared for out-of-pocket expenses with a health savings account

To help cover the possibly higher out-of-pocket health expenses, Consumer Directed HealthSelect is paired with a  health savings account (HSA). You can use funds from your HSA to pay for qualified medical expenses.

Each month, the State of Texas contributes to your Consumer Directed HealthSelect HSA pre-tax ($45 per individual, $90 per family for eligible members). You can also make tax-deductible contributions to your HSA up to a certain amount determined each year by the IRS. The unused balance can be carried over from year to year.

HSAs are portable. If you change to a different health plan or change employers, the money in your HSA stays with you.

Learn more about opening a Consumer Directed HealthSelect HSA or visit your   online account.

Resources

Medical and Prescription Drug ID Cards

Separate ID cards for medical and prescription drug coverage will be mailed to every covered member, and their covered dependents, enrolled in HealthSelect  SM of Texas and Consumer Directed HealthSelect  SM.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas will mail medical ID cards; OptumRx will mail prescription drug ID cards. You should receive both ID cards within a month of enrollment.

ID cards will be mailed to the address ERS currently has on file.  If you do not receive new ID cards, please call:

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas at (800) 252-8039, (TDD: 711)  for medical ID cards; or
  • OptumRx at (855) 828-9834, (TDD: 711) for prescription drug ID cards.

Back to all questions

Scott and White Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

Resources

Scott & White Health Plan is a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) located in central Texas that offers a wide range of health care benefits under the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP). If you live or work in a county within the plan’s service area, you can enroll in Scott & White Health Plan.

Plan Benefits

  • You do not have to choose a primary care physician (PCP).
  • You do not need referrals to specialists.
  • There is no annual medical deductible.
  • Preventive services provided by a network doctor – like annual check-ups and vaccinations – are covered at 100 percent.
  • You are responsible for copayments and/or coinsurance for some doctor and hospital visits and other medical services, such as outpatient surgery and high-tech radiology.

Back to all questions

Adding or Changing a Beneficiary in ERS

ERS Beneficiaries

It’s important to select the individuals who will receive your retirement account and life insurance benefits in the event of your death. This person is called your beneficiary. You can have more than one beneficiary. You can change your beneficiaries at any time.

https://benweb.ers.texas.gov/

1. Log in to your ERS OnLine account
  • Click “My Account Login” in the upper right corner,
  • Select “Proceed to Login” if you have an ERS Online account, or select “Register now” if you do not have an account,
  • Enter your username and password, and Click “Sign in.”
2. If necessary, add a new beneficiary profile
  • Click “Beneficiary Summary” under “My Beneficiaries” on your home page,
  • Click “Change Information or Add New Beneficiary” button at the bottom of the page,
  • Click "Add a New Beneficiary,"
  • Enter beneficiary's personal data (Social Security number and date of birth are required),
  • Click "Save,"
  • Click “OK,” and
  • Click "Return to Summary of Beneficiaries."
3. Begin to assign a beneficiary to your benefit
  • Click “Beneficiary Summary” under “My Beneficiaries” on your home page,
  • Review your beneficiary designations,
  • Click the blue link under the Plan Description for the benefit you would like to assign,
  • Click “Request Designation Change,”
  • Select your beneficiary(ies),
  • Click “Save Beneficiary Elections,”
  • Click “Return to Beneficiary Plan Summary,”
  • Click "Submit Changes" at the bottom of the page,
  • Click “Submit Changes,”
  • Click “OK,” and
  • Receive the beneficiary designation form by email or mail if you do not have an email address on file.
4. Complete and return the beneficiary designation form
  • Review the form,
  • Print and sign your name,
  • Have an unrelated witness (not you or the beneficiary) sign his or her name, and
  • Return the form to ERS.
5. Your designation is not valid until you receive a confirmation from ERS.

If you have questions about designating beneficiaries, please contact the appropriate benefits office below.

  • HHS Enterprise Employees: call accessHR toll-free at (888) 894-4747
  • Retirees: call ERS
  • All Others: contact your Benefits Coordinator’s office

Back to all questions

COBRA

Resources

After you leave employment, you may be eligible to continue coverage under COBRA for a maximum of 18 months by paying your premiums directly to ERS. COBRA is limited to the benefits you had when you leave employment. If you choose COBRA continuation coverage, you will pay the full cost of your premium(s).

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events. Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102% of the cost to the plan.

COBRA generally requires that group health plans sponsored by employers with 20 or more employees in the prior year offer employees and their families the opportunity for a temporary extension of health coverage (called continuation coverage) in certain instances where coverage under the plan would otherwise end.

COBRA outlines how employees and family members may elect continuation coverage. It also requires employers and plans to provide notice


Back to all questions

Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS)

https://www.ers.texas.gov/Active-Employees
Back to all questions

Retirement Plan Options

Teacher Retirement System (TRS) and Optional Retirement Program (ORP) Annuity for Active Employees

ERS administers the Texas Group Benefits Program (GBP) benefits, including health insurance for eligible retirees of higher education institutions.

As an employee of an institution of higher education, you have the option of contributing to the TRS or participating in the ORP. This means your annuity will come from either TRS or your ORP, not from ERS.

Eligibility for retiree insurance

As a TRS or ORP retiree, you may be eligible for GBP retiree insurance if:

  • you have at least 10 years of service with an agency that participates in the GBP; and
  • you last place of public employment was with an agency or higher education institution that participates in the GBP (independent school districts, the University of Texas and Texas A&M don’t participate in the GBP).

If you participate in the ORP, you will need an ORP account from which you’re eligible to start drawing payments. If you withdraw or roll over your account to another account at retirement, you will not be eligible for retiree insurance through the GBP. 

TRS and ORP Overview (PDF)

Resources


Back to all questions

403(b) Tax-Deferred Account (TDA) Program

Regardless of the mandatory retirement program you participate in (TRS or ORP), you can choose to save additional money for retirement on a tax-deferred basis through a Tax-Deferred Account (TDA) Program. All Blinn College employees are eligible to participate in this voluntary supplemental pre-tax savings program at any time.

The TDA program allow you to save money for retirement and postpone paying federal income tax on your savings and investment earnings until you begin receiving the money.

When you enroll in a TDA, you agree to have a specific amount of gross pay deducted from each paycheck and sent to the vendor you choose from the Blinn College list of active vendors. You may enroll in a TDA at any time. To enroll, you complete a TDA Salary Reduction Agreement (SRA) and turn it in to your Human Resources Office, along with a copy of your completed vendor application. The TDA form is available from the Human Resources Office.

Resources

Participation in the 403(b) Tax-Deferred Account Program entails certain responsibilities for the participant, including selection and monitoring of the vendor and individual investments. Blinn College has no fiduciary responsibilities for the financial stability of the vendor or the market value of individual investments chosen by the participant. Each employee bears the risk of the performance of the product(s) of his/her choosing under these voluntary retirement programs, and Blinn College is not liable for any tax consequences occurring under these retirement programs. 

The contents of this page are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as tax or legal advice, which can be rendered only when related to specific fact situations. In all cases, you should consult your attorney or tax adviser if you have questions about your individual situation.


Back to all questions

Authorized Companies for Tax Deferred Annuities and Optional Retirement Plans

List of Authorized Vendors for TDA and ORP
Back to all questions