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Wellness Options for 2018

All active employees who are regularly scheduled to work at least half of the normal full schedule, at least nine months each year (sometimes referred to as "benefits eligible"), have a choice between two wellness program options.  These wellness programs are offered as a benefit of employment and not as part of the group health plan.  These program include:

Option 1: the Pulse program, with incentives of up to $400 per participant per calendar year, and up to $800 per family per calendar year if your spouse is eligible

Option 2: a $225 fitness reimbursement benefit per family, per calendar year, for expenses limited to fitness facilities and exercise classes, including online/DVD exercise classes

Both options will be subject to applicable tax withholdings.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why is Dartmouth making changes to their wellness offerings for 2018?

Dartmouth is making changes to our wellness offerings based on feedback from faculty and staff. 

2. How and when do I make my wellness selection?

During the annual open enrollment period last fall (October 23 - November 6, 2017), active benefits eligible employees chose one of two wellness options for the 2018 calendar year. All new employees will elect one of these options when they enroll in benefits.

• Option 1: the Pulse program, with incentives of up to $400 per participant per calendar year, and up to $800 per family per calendar year if your spouse is eligible

Option 2: a $225 fitness reimbursement benefit per family, per calendar year, for expenses limited to fitness facilities and exercise classes, including online/DVD exercise classes

Both options will be subject to applicable tax withholdings.

3. What is the Fitness Reimbursement Benefit option?

This is a reimbursement for expenses limited to fitness facilities and exercise classes, including online/DVD exercise classes. Eligible expenses can be submitted immediately to Cigna (there will be no attendance criteria that needs to be met prior to submission).  The Fitness Benefit will provide a reimbursement of up to $225 per calendar year, per family (family includes spouses and same sex domestic partners who are enrolled on the employee's Dartmouth College health plan). All reimbursements for active employees will be provided via payroll and will be subject to applicable tax withholdings.  

To learn more about the Fitness Reimbursement Benefit, click here

4. What is the Pulse at Dartmouth Program option?

The Pulse program provides a comprehensive suite of personalized tools and support, including fun step-based MOVE IT challenges, activity, sleep and nutrition trackers, social connections, daily health tips, a personal health assessment, onsite Health Stations, and more! Many successes including weight loss, increased energy, reducing hemoglobin A1c levels, and eliminating blood pressure medications have been reported by Pulse participants.

As a participant, you can:

  • Earn up to $400 per calendar year ($100 per calendar quarter; up to $800/family/year if spouse is enrolled on your health plan through Dartmouth College). All rewards are considered taxable income and applicable taxes will be withheld from payroll.
  • Receive one free MAX™ Activity and Sleep Tracker device, or a one-time credit of $24.99 towards the purchase of another device, that will synchronize your activity with the Pulse program 

To learn more about the Pulse program, click here.

5. Are the Pulse rewards and/or the Fitness Benefit reimbursements considered taxable income?

Yes, both options will be subject to taxes and the applicable taxes will be withheld from payroll. If your spouse earns rewards through the Pulse program or receives reimbursements for the Fitness Benefit, applicable taxes will be withheld from the employee's paycheck.

6. Can I change wellness options mid-year?

No, once a wellness program option has been selected, no changes or exceptions will be made. Active benefits eligible employees will be able to change their selections on an annual basis during Open Enrollment (October/November).  Any selections made during open enrollment will be effective January 1 of the following calendar year.

7. Will Dartmouth College continue to have discounted membership rates at any local fitness facilities?

No, the current discounted rates at CCBA and UVAC will expire on December 31, 2017 and the current waived joining fee at the River Valley Club expired on June 30, 2017.

8. What wellness program options do Retirees have?

Retirees, enrolled on a Dartmouth College-sponsored health plan, only have access to the $225 Fitness Reimbursement Benefit. Consistent with current practice, all reimbursements for retirees will be submitted directly to Cigna and the reimbursement, up to $225, will be provided via a check mailed to the Retiree's home address.  Any reimbursements received as part of the Fitness Benefit are considered taxable income. Retirees should consult your personal tax advisory regarding the proper reporting of this income.

If an active employee retirees mid-year and had previously selected the Pulse program, they will continue with the Pulse program through the remainder of the year they retiree in and then will transition to the Fitness Reimbursement Benefit for the following calendar year. 

9. How can I compare the Wellness Options?

Please see below for a chart that compares the two wellness options - the Pulse Program and the Fitness Reimbursement Benefit. 

comparison chart

 

 

Last Updated: 6/20/18