What’s new for 2017

HISD is offering all of the same Aetna medical plan options and making higher contributions toward your monthly premium for 2017, but here's what else you should know.

Rising health care costs have caught up with us.

For many years, HISD has offered medical plan options that have allowed us to keep employee premiums steady. For the 2014 plan year, we reduced employee contributions by 20% and have kept them there since then. Unfortunately, we must make changes to our 2017 rates and plan benefits to cover our claims. The reason is simple. The money we pay in claims each year exceeds the amount we collect in premiums. 

HISD will continue to offer the same wide range of medical plan options through Aetna, and we’re increasing our contribution toward your premiums. For employee-only coverage, the district’s monthly contribution is $382.48, and for employees covering dependents, it’s $414.78 per month. In fact, we began making this higher contribution this past July.

Here’s what's changing:

Medical plan changes
  • HISD will not make HealthFund contributions in 2017. If you have money left over in your account from a previous year, you won’t lose it. You may continue to use it to pay for eligible medical expenses as long as you’re enrolled in an HISD Consumer plan.
  • Medical plan rates are increasing by $4 or less per pay period for employee-only coverage and by less than $30 per pay period for employee and dependent coverage, depending on your plan and tier. 
  • The out-of-pocket maximums are going up by $900 for employee-only options and $1,800 for family options.
  • Advance Medical expert opinion service is no longer available.
  • HISD will continue the Viverae wellness program and Member Health Assessment.
Wellness incentive changes

Viverae is introducing a points-based Healthy Challenge program for 2017, along with a new website and mobile app to make it even more worthwhile to join in and get healthy.

You still have access to online tools like the Viverae Member Health Risk Assessment to help you understand your health risks, as well as mentoring and resources to help you stay healthy.

Voluntary benefits plan changes

There are no changes in the way most of our voluntary plans work, and very few changes in rates. Here are the highlights:

Life insurance

For 2017, you maybe able to purchase higher amounts of coverage for yourself and your spouse, potentially up to $1 million and $250,000 respectively. Depending on your final election, the additional amounts of coverage (compared to 2016) may be subject to evidence of insurability requirements. See the Life and AD&D plan description for more details. The premiums for your voluntary coverage are going up a bit, but there are no changes in rates for spouse or child coverage.


Our disability plan helps replace a portion of your income if you’re unable to work due to an injury, illness or pregnancy. For 2017, the rates for this plan are going down slightly.


The rates for legal are going up slightly, but the plan also includes several enhancements, including:

  • Contested adoption/legitimation
  • Contested divorce/annulment/separation (20 hours)
  • LifeStages ID management services – including fraud monitoring tied to ID breach
  • Personal property protection
  • Small claims assistance
  • Revocable trusts
  • Irrevocable trusts
  • Eviction/tenant problems (primary residence – tenant only)
  • Security deposit assistance (primary residence – tenant only)
  • Restoration of driving privileges
Things to think about for 2017
  • Consider opening a health care flexible spending account (FSA) to help cover eligible medical expenses. You can set aside the amount you expect to need and have it deducted from each paycheck before taxes, which saves you money in the end. Just remember to plan carefully or you could lose any money you don't use. 
  • Take a closer look at all of the medical plan options. This might be the year to change things up as you consider your family’s health and budget.
  • Consider adding voluntary benefits, such as dental, vision, disability, critical illness and personal legal. They can provide extra help when you need it most. 
  • Our HISD Employee Health & Wellness Centers continue to offer free medical care to our plan members.
  • Remember, the benefits we offer do more than cover you when you get sick. They can also help you get healthy and stay that way. Take advantage of the special features that come with your plan, like free preventive care, the Aetna 24/7 Nurse Line and Viverae wellness programs.

For any benefits question or concern, one call does it all.
Call us at 877-780-HISD (4473)