Monday, December 7, 2009

Staff devpt presentation - State health plan changes

Hi all,

Here are my notes from this afternoon's presentation by Melissa Barnes (UNCG HR) on state employee health plan changes. Sorry if they're confusing at times - some of this is up in the air and I'm no expert on our health care plan :)

If you have questions, Human Resources is the place to ask: 336.334.5009

If you are covering someone else on your state employee health plan, have proof ready that you're related (birth certificate, adoption or marriage certificate). You'll be asked to provide your proof at any time now.

There will be a health fair in February.

Starting this spring open enrollment for the state health plan will be online (shh! this will be publicly announced next month). Open enrollment will probably take place in March. In 2010-2011 everyone on campus will default to the 80/20 health plan. Remember to keep your ears peeled for info on how to get back on the 70/30 plan if that's the one that you want. One thing to watch for is an "I don't smoke" affadavit that will be included in open enrollment paperwork. If you don't return this affadavit during open enrollment, you'll be on the 80/20 health plan starting July 1, 2010.

Smoking initiative starting in the 2010-2011 health plan year
The 70/30 state health plan will ONLY be available to employees if they and their health plan dependents DO NOT smoke. There will probably be spot checks, possibly including making employees visit an office on campus to have their cheeks swabbed to test for nicotine. Human resources staff have been told that they will be involved, but the process is unknown at this time. HR staff are unsure as to how this rule would be enforced for dependents (they couldn’t really require dependents to visit campus to be tested, can they?). People will probably be allowed to stay on the 70/30 plan with a doctor’s note stating something to the effect of “So and so is using a smoking cessation program.” Important for anyone using nicotine gum or patches.

BMI initiative – Scheduled to begin Summer 2011
It is likely that in Summer 2011 the entire campus will once again be migrated to the 80/20 health plan. Only employees and their health plan dependents who are BELOW a certain BMI during open enrollment will qualify for the 70/30 health plan. At this point it is not known whether affidavits will be used, whether a doctor’s examination will also be required, etc.

BMI is a number calculated from your height and your weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

  • BMI 18.5-24.9 is normal
  • BMI 25.0-29.9 is overweight
  • BMI 30.0 and above is obese

At this time it is believed that the “cutoff” BMI will be 40 or over. Employees and health plan dependents would need to be under that BMI **and** take some as yet unknown action before open enrollment ends if they wanted to use the 70/30 health plan for the 2011-2012 health plan year.

It is likely that the BMI cutoff will be lowered to 35 for the following year, 2012-2013.

Want to calculate your BMI? Try this calculator from the CDC:

It is likely that 4 nutritionist visits per year will be allowed under the state health plan in order to support weight loss.

Questions about the state health plan can be addressed to Human Resources: 336.334.5009

Benefits – Employee Wellness page includes list of smoking cessation resources and a link to a BMI calculator from the CDC.



Thursday, December 3, 2009

Finding health information online

Ever needed to see an image of an episiotomy? Wanted to learn about different approaches to treating lower back pain? Without using a medical dictionary to look up every other word?

The Consumer Health Complete database has encyclopedia articles, images, videos, and many other easy to understand materials on a wide range of health topics. Off campus access is restricted to current UNCG students, faculty, and staff with active Novell accounts. Consumer Health Complete is featured as the top subscription on the University Libraries' guide Consumer Health Information Online

By the way, if you have non-UNCG friends or family who would like to use Consumer Health Complete from home, just point them to this page on the NCLive site (Consumer Health Complete is the 3d db listed). They can contact their local NC public library for a password :)