News

Posted 6/4/2018

Lower-cost Network Tier Within A&M Care Plan Launches June 15

Thanks to a strengthened partnership with CHI St. Joseph Health, beginning June 15, Texas A&M University System employees and retirees will be offered significant reductions in health insurance costs through new, lower-cost voluntary options in their network benefit plan.

The CHI St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network features a 75 percent reduction in primary care co-pays, a 50 percent reduction in specialty care co-pays and a 50 percent reduction in co-insurance costs at all of CHI St. Joseph Health’s locations throughout the Brazos Valley. This translates to employee out-of-pocket costs for physicians and facilities contracted with CHI St. Joseph and Texas A&M of a $5 copay for a primary care physician, a $15 copay for a specialist and a 10% coinsurance for other costs such as a hospitalization. All other coverage will be the same.

With the rising cost of health care, this partnership preserves employee choice. Individuals with established provider relationships outside the CHI St. Joseph Health tier will continue to enjoy the same benefits they currently receive.

Even though the new network benefits are available to all employees and retirees in the A&M Care Plan, the emphasis is in Bryan-College Station. The tier is outlined more specifically by ZIP code and/or provider list and can only be used in the Brazos Valley.

To date, Texas A&M has played a small role in the delivery of health care in the Brazos Valley region. The strengthened partnership with CHI St. Joseph Health is one way we seek to change that—allowing for improved access to care for the community and a platform to train future physicians and other health professionals within a local, high-value health system. 

New Health Network Q&A

  1. When will the network be available?
    The network will be available on June 15.

  2. Am I required to use CHI St. Joseph providers?
    Each time you need to go to the doctor or health care facility, you have a choice of providers, either in or out of the new preferred provider tier. If you decide to keep your current provider (and they are not affiliated with CHI St. Joseph Health), there will be no changes to your current costs and copays.

  3. If I do decide to use a CHI St. Joseph provider, must I keep using that physician?
    Each time you need service, you may change your choice if you wish.

  4. Do I need to change my network plan?
    No. All options are within the A&M Care Plan. You do not have to change plans to take advantage of these reductions.

  5. How can I figure out who the lower-cost providers are?
    At present, you can look for CHI St. Joseph providers. Physicians who are part of the CHI St. Joseph doctor’s group, those with a CHI St. Joseph contract and Texas A&M University Health Science Center physicians will have the lower cost and copay. Beginning September 1, you will see these network providers clearly differentiated on the BlueCross BlueShield Provider Finder under the Brazos Valley Network.

  6. How much can I save by visiting a CHI St. Joseph Health provider?
    The CHI St. Joseph and Texas A&M Health Network features a 75 percent reduction in primary care co-pays, a 50 percent reduction in specialty care co-pays and a 50 percent reduction in co-insurance costs at all of CHI St. Joseph Health’s locations throughout the Brazos Valley. This translates to employee out-of-pocket costs for physicians and facilities contracted with CHI St. Joseph and Texas A&M of a $5 copay for a primary care physician, a $15 copay for a specialist and a 10% coinsurance for other costs such as a hospitalization. All other coverage will be the same. 

  7. Why is the A&M System doing this?
    The opportunity to partner with the Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas A&M University and one of the region’s local hospitals and physician groups leverages our unique strengths in the community, offers an excellent training environment for health sciences students, and is also an opportunity to provide a new benefit to our employees and retirees.

  8. What if I live in the Brazos Valley but use a provider outside the Brazos Valley?
    You will be responsible for the normal A&M Care Plan copays, deductibles and coinsurance.

  9. What if I live outside the Brazos Valley?
    If you live outside of the Brazos Valley and you need or want to come to the Brazos Valley for care, you will get the lower cost for care from the network providers. Even though the new network benefits are available to all employees and retirees in the A&M Care Plan, the emphasis is in Bryan-College Station for a number of reasons. The home campus of the Texas A&M Health Sciences Center is located in Bryan, TX, allowing our students to train within CHI St. Joseph’s system, increasing health care access for many in our community. The Brazos Valley is also home to the majority of employees and retirees. Our partnership will lower costs and improve care for these employees and retirees. When we lower the health care costs in the Brazos Valley, all System employees will benefit, as we are self-insured.