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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
Considering current federal law, ERS would only offer TRICARE through the Discount Purchase Program. ERS does not anticipate this would result in a significant increase in the number of TRICARE-eligible members who waive coverage under HealthSelect, and therefore, the savings to the state as a result of this bill would not be significant.
No fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.
The bill would amend Chapter 1551 of the Insurance Code by requiring the board of trustees of the Employee Retirement System of Texas (ERS) to offer a TRICARE Military Health System supplemental plan to an employee or annuitant who waives coverage under the basic coverage plan under Section 1551.1045 and is eligible for benefits under the TRICARE Military Health System. The bill would also prohibit the board from contributing to the cost of the supplemental plan, including the premium cost.
This bill is substantively the same as when we reported on it in its original chamber. We continue to support HB 3307. The second chamber sponsor is Senator Hinojosa.
Original chamber recommendation below:
Interested parties note that the Employees Retirement System of Texas estimates that there are approximately 8,000 veterans working for the state who are TRICARE eligible but who are currently accessing health care through plans offered by the state, such as HealthSelect, due to the high out-of-pocket costs associated with TRICARE benefits. Texas currently does not provide veterans who have 20+ years of service with the option of signing up for TRICARE.
This legislation would address the lack of a TRICARE signup option by requiring the ERS to offer TRICARE to eligible veterans. If eligible veterans chose to obtain health care benefits through TRICARE, this would result in cost-savings at the state level. We support HB 3307 because it promotes our limited government principle.