General questions
Who is eligible for HISD benefits?

You can participate in HISD’s benefits plans if you’re a regular part-time or full-time employee, as defined by HISD, and a contributing member of the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) or, if retired from TRS, you're rehired into a benefits-eligible position. To the extent you qualify as a full-time employee as defined under Section 4980H(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code, you will be treated as being in an eligible class for purposes of the benefits plan.

Eligible dependents can participate in some of the benefits plans. Eligible dependents include:

  • Your legal spouse, as determined by the laws of the State of Texas
  • Your dependent children

Eligible dependent children under 26 years of age include:

  • Your biological children
  • Your stepchildren
  • Your legally adopted children
  • Your foster children, including any children placed with you for adoption
  • Your child who qualifies as your dependent under the terms of a qualified medical child support order (QMSCO)
Do I have to verify my dependents?

Yes, you must show documentation that your dependents meet the HISD plan guidelines. Employees and their dependents may lose or have their benefits eligibility suspended if they are found to have dependents on the plan who are not eligible. You only have to verify your dependents once. 

For more information about disabled dependent eligibility and status, contact Aetna customer service at 877-224-6857, available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

What if I need to make changes after the enrollment deadline?

Choose your benefits carefully because, in most cases, once the enrollment deadline passes you can’t change your options until the next annual enrollment period. In general, you can only change your benefits coverage during the year if you have a qualified life event. Any changes you make for yourself and your dependents at that time must be consistent with and on account of the event. For example, you can enroll your newborn in medical coverage, but you can’t drop coverage for your spouse or change medical options because of the birth of your child. More information about family status changes is available here.

Is there a number I can call with benefits questions?

Call the HISD Benefits Service Center at 877-780-HISD (4473), choose a language and press 2 to speak to a benefits representative, open weekdays (except holidays), 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays, 7 a.m to 4 p.m. CST.

Are there any Spanish-speaking resources available for benefits information?

Yes. The HISD Benefits Service Center has Spanish-speaking representatives.

When do benefits begin?
  • If you are a new employee or newly eligible, your benefits coverage begins on the first of the month following 30 days after your date of hire or newly eligible date, unless you are hired on the first of the month. In that case, benefits are effective that day. For example, if you start work or become benefits eligible on February 12, your benefits begin April 1. If your date of hire is February 1, your benefits begin February 1.  
  • For benefits selected during the annual enrollment period, coverage begins January 1 of the following year.
  • For benefits requiring evidence of insurability, coverage begins the beginning of the month following carrier approval of your application.
When do benefits end?

Benefits coverage ends on the earliest of:

  • The date the plan ends
  • The last day of the month in which you are no longer eligible
  • The date you stop paying for coverage
  • The last day of the month after you notify the district of your selection to stop participation based on annual enrollment (coverage ends December 31 in this case) or a qualified life event or a family status change (if the family status change is reported within 31 days of the event)
  • The last day of the month in which you stop working for the district
What coverage do I have if I don't enroll in any HISD benefits?

If you are a newly eligible employee and you don’t enroll, you don’t have any HISD benefits coverage except:

  • $10,000 district-provided basic life and AD&D insurance
  • Employee assistance program (EAP)
Do I have benefits if I leave HISD and come back?

In 2013, due to federal regulations, employees who lose benefits eligibility (through a change in schedule, termination of employment or any other reason) and regain that eligibility within 31 days of their original benefits end date are reinstated with no break in coverage. Premiums for the reinstated coverage are deducted from the first available paycheck. If you leave HISD or lose your benefits eligibility and return to work after 31 days, you must re-enroll to receive benefits coverage.

What does the 24/7 Nurse Line provide?

The 24/7 Nurse Line provides health care decision counseling with the information and support you need to understand your medical care options and how to make the most of your coverage. Call 877-780-4473 (HISD), choose a language and press 3 to talk one-on-one with an experienced registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Specially trained nurses can help you understand your medical problem, evaluate self-care possibilities and plan questions for your doctor. They can also research options for care and send you easy-to-understand information tailored to your specific needs. This free service is available to all employees who are eligible for benefits, along with their dependents.

Who has access to my personal information?

The health care providers may collect personal information about you, including your name, employee number, Social Security number, date of birth, health-related questions or concerns and participation status. This information is used only to provide confidential services to you and gather anonymous statistical data for HISD. In other words, your basic statistics are combined with everyone else's and presented in reports only to show trends in health conditions and use of services. No individual names or other personal information are provided to HISD. In addition, the health care plan providers don’t share personal information with any third party unless it’s necessary to:

  • Allow another health care provider to offer you additional assistance
  • Comply with applicable laws or valid legal processes

See the HIPAA Privacy Policy for more information.

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