2020 CHOICES Coverage & Plan Designs

  •  2020 Medical insurance coverage is available to benefit-eligible employees working at least 20 hours per week.  CHOICES is the set of health insurance coverage plans offered. 

    The current medical insurance carrier is HealthPartners.  Benefit eligible employees can enroll into coverages within 30 days of their hire date, during open enrollment or within 30 days of a qualifying status change.  Levels of coverage include employee only, employee plus one dependent, and family coverage. Click on the links below to learn more about plan options, and additional health insurance benefits.

    A side by side comparison of the plans is listed at the bottom of this page. Click on the links for each plan to get more information about that plan.

     In plan year 2020 here are six plans from which employees can choose:



    • HealthPartners Co-Pay Open Access Plan (formerly Distinctions II)
    • HealthPartners Co-Pay Smart Care Plan (formerly Distinctions II)

    New Network

    The SmartCare plans offer a lower premium by utilizing a smaller alternative network compared to the open access network plans.  You'll have access to three SmartCare Clinics for primary care and the HealthPartners and Park Nicollet providers and facilities for additional care.  SmartCare clinics offer phone, video or in-person care visits and have expanded hours to provide you with additional flexibility to get the care you need when you need it.

    SmartCare FAQ


    Plan Design Changes

    The Distinctions plan is now called the CoPay plan, this plan will no longer have different benefit levels (e.g. Tier 1, Tier 2).  All care provided by in-network doctors and facilities will be at one low cost.

    The Empower National One HRA and HSA Plans provide the same health coverage as a traditional medical plan such as the Co-Pay Plan. However, both HRA  and HSA Plans are high-deductible medical plans. With the HRA Plans, you will have a HRA fund account, funded by St Paul Schools through HealthPartners. With the HSA Plans, you have the option to open an HSA spending account through Optum Bank. It is important that you review the CHOICES medical plans carefully, so you can understand the key similarities and differences among the six plans, and make an informed decision for your personal situation.

    The six medical plan options are carefully designed with the understanding that benefits, especially medical benefits, are valuable to our employees and, because Saint Paul Public Schools values you, we strive to provide our employees with a total benefits package that offers a variety of coverage options to meet your personal needs. We know that an employee’s benefit needs often change based on life events (marriage, birth, divorce, etc.), career status (just beginning, nearing retirement, etc.), health status and more.

    These diverse health care needs are why SPPS is offering employees a choice in the medical plan that best fits their individual situation. We expect employees to take responsibility for managing their own health care by taking the time to understand the differences among the medical plans, and making an informed decision about their coverage needs in terms of expected overall cost and utilization.

Benefit Forms

Understanding Your Health Plans