Employees can improve health, save money through new wellness offerings

Benefits fair, screenings held Nov. 6-7; deadline to schedule an on-campus biometric screening is Nov. 8

weights, healthy foodCase Western Reserve employees who participate in the university’s medical benefits plan can start acting tomorrow to earn up to $500 through benefits savings and incentives in calendar year 2014. This option also is available to employees who newly enroll in the plan for 2014.

Faculty and staff can learn more about wellness incentives and even complete related activities during the the university’s annual benefits fair Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 6-7) in the Thwing Center ballroom.

Those who would like to learn more about the programs in advance can attend today’s open forum from noon to 1 p.m. in Allen Memorial Medical Library’s Ford Auditorium. The session is one of more than a dozen meetings where representatives of the Office of Human Resources have provided details about the new wellness programs.

Below is additional information about wellness programs and opportunities at the fair. First, though, employees should keep these key dates in mind:

Key Dates

Friday, Nov. 1: Tomorrow, employees can start the first two steps involved in securing a $25-per-month premium savings:

  • Complete an online form testifying that you do not smoke (available through HCM-Self Service-Benefits-Wellness Programs);
  • Complete an online Health Risk Appraisal form (available at case.edu/hra)

Friday, Nov. 8: This is the last day for employees to schedule an on-campus biometric screening. The screening is the third and final step required to qualify for the $25 per month premium savings. To schedule the on-campus screening (or one at another location), please go to my.blueprintforwellness.com and enter key code  “CWRU.” Those who have had a screening done since April 2013 and want the results sent to Quest Diagnostics should email wellness@case.edu.

Saturday, Nov. 30: Deadline to complete all three steps required to save $25 per month on premiums during 2014.

Wellness in Detail

As announced earlier this month, Case Western Reserve is expanding wellness initiatives for 2014 as part of ongoing efforts to enhance the well-being of the community and also help control increasing medical costs borne by the university and its employees. This year’s offerings give participants the opportunity to earn up to $300 per year by satisfying three critera: Tobacco Attestation Form, Health Risk Appraisal and Biometric Screening. In addition, employees can earn up to $200 by participating in healthy activities during 2014.

Premium Savings Options

  • Health Risk Appraisal (HRA): This assessment from the University of Michigan is free and entirely confidential. The only information Case Western Reserve will receive involves de-identified aggregated data tha indicates overall averages and trends among those who complete the assessment. Meanwhile, participants will receive confidential, individualized feedback on their results. The appraisals questions center on subjects such as diet, exercise, smoking, alchol consumption and other behaviors.
  • Tobacco Attestation: This form requires employees to state whether they use tobacco.
  • Biometric Health Screening: These free, confidential screenings involve measurements of height, weight, cholesterol and glucose. Participants will be able to view their results online within three to five days; they also will receive printed copies of the results within two to three weeks. As with the health risk appraisals, the university only will see aggregate data from the screenings and will not have access to any individual responses.
  • Contact wellness@case.edu for information about any of these criteria and how to comply with them.

Additional Incentives

The university also will offer additional wellness programs in 2014, including classes focused on tobacco cessation, stress management, weight management and nutrition, and physical activity. Benelect medical plan participants who have met the 2014 Wellness Program participation criteria will receive $100 cash for each program they complete, up to $200.

Employees must complete the additional program(s) before Oct. 1, 2014, to receive payment(s) at the end of 2014.

The university will provide additional information about program options beginning in 2014.

If a medical condition makes it unreasonably difficult to achieve the standards for these incentives, or if it is medically inadvisable as determined by a physician or health care provider for an employee to attempt to achieve the standards for the incentive under this program, employees can contact wellness@case.edu to request a reasonable alternative standard. The university will work with the employee to provide another way to qualify for the incentive. Recommendations of the employee’s physician or health care provider will be considered and accommodated in developing an alternative standard that is reasonable in light of the individual’s health status.

Additional questions can be answered at the benefits fair or may be available on the open enrollment webpage.

Benefits Fair

The benefits fair will take place Wednesday, Nov. 6, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday, Nov. 7, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Thwing Center ballroom.

Employees can speak directly with representatives of the university’s insurance carriers, receive a free flu vaccination and enter a charity basket raffle sponsored by the Staff Advisory Council.

Employees interested in receiving a flu shot can view the 2013/2014 influenza vaccine information form online and also print out the flu vaccine consent form that must be completed before receiving a flu vaccination. Employees also must present university IDs upon check-in at the fair.

Benefits staff will be on hand to answer questions. Computers will be available for employees who wish to make their Benelect elections during the fair. Employees also have the option of enrolling online at a more convenient time.

The university has mailed Benelect open enrollment kits to all benefits-eligible faculty and staff. These packets contain the Benelect 2014 guide, a summary of key considerations to help in decision-making, the Benelect 2014 price sheets and instructions for making elections in the online enrollment system.

Packet materials also are available through the 2014 Open Enrollment webpage.

(Note: Kaiser Permanente is now known as HealthSpan, after a recent acquisition. When filling out benefit elections, HealthSpan is the previously named Kaiser option.)