What’s new for 2018

For 2018, HISD is moving to Cigna for medical and FSA coverage, but will continue to offer the same plan options at the same rates.

Here’s why –

We understand health care benefits can be confusing – but using your plan doesn’t have to be. HISD is always looking for ways to give you a better experience with your benefits to support the personal needs of you and your family. That’s why we’ve transitioned to coverage with Cigna in 2018. 

Under Cigna, you’ll have access to convenient, personalized, high-quality health care coverage and wellness programs. To ensure this transition is easy for everyone, premiums and plan options will be the same as last year.

Be a smart health care shopper – take a look at your options to make sure you enroll in the plan that makes the most sense for your lifestyle. With the help of the guide and our benefits website, you can use a variety of tools to see if your doctor is covered in the new network and find the best plan option for you and your family. 

It’s time to take charge of your health care. 

Medical plan changes

Beginning January 1, 2018, Cigna will be the new administrator for the District’s medical and FSA plans.  

Our goal at HISD is to make this transition as smooth and hassle-free for you as possible.  Most importantly, you’ll find the cost of your premiums are the same as last year, while the plan names and network options have changed to include new doctors and hospitals.

You’ll have the same options for deductibles, coinsurance, prescription drugs and voluntary coverage without a premium increase.

Some changes to the doctors and hospitals in our networks.

While the details of how your medical plan works—and what you’ll be expected to pay—aren’t changing, the move to Cigna does mean that the network of doctors and hospitals you use for care will be different.  As you decide which medical plan is best for you for 2018, be sure to check if your preferred doctors are in the network offered with that plan.  Starting this year, if you choose a Limited medical plan, you are required to use doctors and specialists within the LocalPlus network, but are free to use any hospital you choose.  And if you choose to enroll in the Choice plan, which gives you access to both the LocalPlus and OAP networks, be aware that some of the providers available to you may have changed from last year.

Some things haven’t changed

Your voluntary benefit options and our wellness program aren’t changing.  Get active and take advantage of things like the Healthy Challenge program, online health assessments, mentoring services and other resources you can use to be your healthiest and best.

New, more convenient ways to see a doctor

We are adding a new telehealth program that makes seeing a doctor for minor health issues faster and more cost-effective.  With Cigna Telehealth Connection (available January 1), you can meet with a Board Certified doctor from your phone, iPad or computer.  It’s a helpful option when you are traveling, too busy to go in person—or simply need care after hours.  You can also use Cigna’s nurse line anytime for free medical advice or help making the best decision about your health—whether it’s where to go for care or what questions to ask your doctor about a medical condition.

Do your research

Before you choose a plan, make sure you learn what network your doctor is in. You can do this two ways:

Call your Cigna One Guide representative at 888-806-5042 for personal assistance in finding which network your doctors are in and which plans might be best for you.  


Go to Cigna to use the ‘Find a Doctor’ tool.  Follow these steps to see what doctors are in your network:

  1. In “Search Location” put in your city and state (Houston, TX)
  2. For “Select a Plan” choose Medical Plans
  3. Choose LocalPlus or Open Access Plus network
  4. In “Looking For” box type the name of your doctor or just choose “Search” on a blank box to go to the provider directory for that network and begin to filter by specialty or facility

Once you have this information, you can research your voluntary benefits options and prepare to enroll November 2-16.

Things to think about for 2018
  • Consider opening a health care flexible spending account (FSA) to help cover eligible medical expenses. You can set aside up to $2,650, pre-tax, to pay for eligible health care expenses that are not reimbursable from any other source. 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 employees enrolled in one of the medical plans.
  • 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 Cigna 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)