The City offers an outstanding comprehensive benefits program that is competitive with other employers. Regular, full-time employees and designated PT30 employees are eligible to participate in these programs, as described in each plan.

Information on eligible dependents, supporting documentation and how to enroll can be found here.


Eligibility

  • Full-time employees
  • Part-time employees who consistently worked 30 or more hours per week over the past 12 months
  • Retirees from the City of Houston

Please note that contractors and temporary employees ARE NOT eligible.


ELIGIBLE DEPENDENTS

  • Legal spouse
  • Children up to age 26 that you are the legal guardian or legal foster parent
  • Grandchildren and stepchildren to age 26 if they qualify as your dependents for federal income-tax purposes and live with you
  • A dependent child who is 26 or older, primarily supported by you, and incapable of self-sustaining employment by reason of mental incapacity, physical disability or handicap which arose while the child was covered as a dependent under these plans without a break in coverage
  • Dependents (children and grandchildren) for whom a court order has been received requiring the employee to provide healthcare coverage, provided HR Benefits receives the court order within 31 days after issuance

REQUIRED SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION


Employee relationship Required supporting documentation Coverages available 
Legal spouse (Ex-spouses are not eligible without a court order)
  • Social Security Numbe or ITINr
  • Marriage Certificate (front and back) or Declaration of Registration of Informal Marriage
  • Copy of Court Order
  • Divorce Decree
Eligible for: medical, dental, vision, basic and voluntary life insurance and supplement coverage
Biological child
  • Social Security Number or ITIN
  • Birth Certificate or Verification of Birth Facts**
Eligible for: medical, dental, vision, basic and voluntary life insurance and supplement coverage Coverage available up to age 26
Adopted child
  • Social Security Number or ITIN
  • Birth Certificate
  • Adoption Documents
Eligible for: medical, dental, vision, basic and voluntary life insurance and supplement coverage Coverage available up to age 26
Legal custody/guardianship foster child (Children for whom you have legal guardianship or legal foster care)
  • Social Security Number
  • Birth Certificate
  • Guardianship Documents
Eligible for: medical, dental, vision, basic and voluntary life insurance and supplement coverage Coverage available up to age 26
Court ordered dependent (Dependent for whom a court order has been received requiring you to provide healthcare coverage)
  • Social Security Number or ITIN
  • Birth Certificate
  • Adoption/Guardianship Documents
  • Copy of Court Order
Eligible for: medical, dental, vision, basic and voluntary life insurance and supplement coverage Coverage available up to age 26
Stepchild
  • Social Security Number or ITIN
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate (front and back)
Eligible for: medical, dental, vision, basic and voluntary life insurance and supplement coverage Coverage available up to age 26
Biological grandchild (Step-grandchildren are not eligible for coverage)
  • Social Security Number or ITIN
  • Birth Certificate
  • Current IRS Filing
  • Birth Certificate of Grandchild's NAtural Parent/Employee's Biological Child
Eligible for: medical, dental and vision Coverage available up to age 26
Disabled children age 26 and over
  • Social Security Number or ITIN
  • Birth Certificate
  • Proof of child's condition and dependency must be submitted withing 31 days upon receiving third-party medical administrator's approval for coverage
Eligible for: medical, dental, vision, basic and voluntary life insurance and supplement coverage. Contact the Benefits Division for appropriate paperwork to continue coverage.

Required documents must be submitted and verified before dependents can be covered under any of the City of Houston benefits plans. Submitted documents must be County Clerk certified or court-filed documents. Each submitted document will be reviewed by the Benefits Division for approval before processing changes to coverage.


IMPORTANT ELIGIBILITY NOTES

If both you and your spouse work(ed) for the city, you may be covered as an employee/retiree or as a dependent - but not both. Dependents may be enrolled under only one parent or guardian.

If you are a hire new within 30 days of your start date, please complete your enrollment through your SAP Employee Self-Service (ESS) Portal AND submit the above requested documentation within 30 days of your start date to the Benefits Division.

If you are beyond your first 30 days of hire and want to make changes to your current benefits enrollment, you will need to submit the Benefits Eligibility Processing Form AND proof of a Qualifying Life Event to the Benefits Division within 31 days of the event.

A dependent child who is 26 or older, primarily supported by you, and incapable of self-sustaining employment by reason of mental incapacity, physical disability or handicap which arose while the child was covered as a dependent under these plans, or while covered as a dependent under prior city plans without a break in coverage Upon applying and receiving third party medical administrator’s approval, proof of the child’s condition and dependence must be submitted within 31 days or the child ceases to qualify for benefits. Dependents (children and grandchildren) for whom a court order has been received requiring the employee to provide healthcare coverage, provided HR Benefits receives the court order within 31 days after issuance


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ENROLLMENT OPPORTUNITIES

There are several opportunities to elect, drop, add, or modify benefit coverage for yourself and/or your dependents. It’s important to carefully consider the benefit options available to you and your dependent(s), as there are only a few opportunities to select coverage or make changes to your benefits.

1. Initial Enrollment for New Employees

You have only thirty (30) days from your hire date to make initial enrollment elections and submit supporting documents for any dependents you would like to cover. After you receive your first paycheck, you can log into Employee Self service (ESS) using your e-number, that is, the letter “e” followed by your employee ID number and your network password. Contact HITS at 832-394-4487 for password assistance.

If supporting documentation is not received within the 30-day window, you will have to wait until Open Enrollment or until after you experience a qualifying life event to enroll for benefits coverage. After enrollment, your benefits will begin the 1st or 16th day of the month following your 30th day of employment. Make sure to complete a Final Paycheck Beneficiary Form.

2. Annual Open Enrollment

The annual open enroll is one time a year event. This is an opportunity to review and make changes to your benefits elections. During this time, you can add, drop, or modify medical, dental and vision, as well as enroll or re-enroll for a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (HFSA). The open enrollment period for plan year 2022 - 2023 is February 28 – March 11, 2022. If you are happy with your current medical, dental, vision and life benefits elections, you do not need to make any changes. If do not make any changes to your medical, dental, vision and/or life benefits elections during open enrollment, your current benefit elections will roll over into plan year 2022 – 2023.

Note: You can request an increase for voluntary life insurance, as well as update your beneficiary designations for basic and voluntary life insurance at anytime.

Important Reminder: If you would like to continue or start a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (HFSA) you must enroll/re-enroll.

3. Special Enrollment for Qualified Life Events

You can add, drop, or change coverage for yourself or your dependents when you experience a Qualifying Life Event such as:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Death of a dependent
  • Formalization or dissulution of an informal marriage
  • Loss or gain of other coverage or experience a change in employment status (ex: full to part-time or vice versa)

You must contact the Benefits Division within 31 days of the Qualifying Life Event to request the applicable form(s) or if you need assistance. If documentation is not received, your newly elected dependent coverage will not be processed.

In the case of a newborn dependent, your newborn is temporarily covered for medical for 31 days. After 31 days, if you do not enroll your newborn, your newborn’s coverage will terminate, even if you have Employee + Child(ren) or Employee + Family coverage. If you fail to timely enroll your newborn, the coverage will be terminated back to date of birth.

4. Ongoing Opportunity for Voluntary Life Insurance Enrollment
You can request an increase for voluntary life insurance, as well as update your beneficiary designations for basic and voluntary life insurance at anytime.
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WHAT DO YOU NEED TO ENROLL 

  • Employee Self Service (ESS) password
  • Date of birth for all dependents (NOTE: birth certificates and marriage certificates MUST be received and verified before you are able to add your eligible dependents to your benefits
  • Social Security numbers or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for all dependents

Submitting supporting documents

Submit documents through one of the following:

How to Enroll

Employee Self Service (ESS) is used during open enrollment to make new elections or update coverage for medical, dental, vision, Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (HFSA), and voluntary life insurance and update life insurance beneficiaries.

Available 24/7, ESS makes electing and updating your benefits simple and personal. The application is secure, and your information will be protected whether you are at home, at work, or using a public computer, like at the library.

Department Information

611 Walker, 4th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
Benefits: 832-393-6000
Main: 832-393-6100
Safety Hotline: 832-393-7233 careers@houstontx.gov