The Pulse at Dartmouth Program: Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Pulse at Dartmouth program?
The Pulse Program provides a comprehensive suite of personalized tools and support,
including a personal health assessment, personal and team challenges; activity, nutrition
and sleep tracking, daily health tips, health stations and much more. In addition, participants will:
Receive a free MAX activity and sleep tracking device (or a $24.99 credit toward the purchase of another device) that will synchronize with the Pulse Program, and
Have the opportunity to earn up to $400 each calendar year (a maximum of $100/quarter; up to $800/family if spouse is eligible) by participating in the program.
2. Why should I participate in the Pulse at Dartmouth program?
It's fun and it's a great way to support your health, plus you can earn rewards along the way. The more steps we each take to live a healthier lifestyle will not only benefit us as individuals but also our community.
3. Who is Virgin Pulse?
Virgin Pulse is a well-being organization that is affiliated with Richard Branson's Virgin Group. You can learn more about the Virgin Pulse organization by visiting www.virginpulse.com or to learn more about the Virgin Group in general, please visit www.virgin.com.
4. Why was Virgin Pulse chosen as Dartmouth's partner for the Pulse program?
Wellness at Dartmouth went through a comprehensive Request for Proposal (RFP) process in 2015, and again in 2019, with the help of Dartmouth's Procurement Office in seeking a best-in-class organization to provide a high-quality, effective and integrated well-being solution that would assist with improving health, productivity, morale, and overall engagement of our community. Multiple vendors were evaluated and, after objective measurements and careful consideration of each, it was clear that Virgin Pulse would be the strongest partner in supporting Dartmouth's workplace wellness efforts. The robust engagement platform, extensive reporting capabilities, and widespread industry knowledge that Virgin Pulse offers makes them the ideal partner and best overall solution to further support the well-being of our community.
5. Why does Wellness at Dartmouth need to partner with a 3rd party to offer the Pulse at Dartmouth program?
There are many benefits of partnering with a 3rd party, however one of the more important is that a 3rd party allows for anonymity between the individual participant and Dartmouth College for health data collecting and reporting purposes.
1. How do I join the Pulse at Dartmouth program?
After electing the Pulse program as your wellness program option, visit http://dartgo.org/joinpulse and follow the registration prompts (as a new employee, you will have access approximately 1 week after you make your elections). Registration takes approximately 5 minutes.
All active, regular employees who regularly work 20 hours per week, at least nine months each year (sometimes referred to as "benefits eligible") are eligible to elect the Pulse at Dartmouth program as their wellness program option. Spouses who are enrolled on the employee's Dartmouth College health plan are also eligible to participate if the employee elected Pulse as their wellness program option. Employees and spouses should join Pulse at dartgo.org/joinpulse.* Please note: the Pulse program is offered to employees as a benefit of employment and not as part of the group health plan.
As a Pulse member, you can invite up to 10 family members or friends from outside of Dartmouth College to join and support you in the program for FREE! Your invitees can create challenges, compare stats, track their healthy habits, and more. Your invitees are unable to participate in company challenges and they are not eligible to receive rewards. Invitees must be 14 years or older. Please do not invite any Dartmouth eligible employees/spouses to participate through the friends and family option.
3. Is there a preferred web browser to use when engaging with the Pulse at Dartmouth program?
Internet Explorer (version 9 and above) and the latest version of Chrome will provide the best user experience. If a different browser is used, certain items may not present correctly, some features may not be accessible, and other site issues may occur. A free mobile app is also available and can be downloaded from the Apple (for both iPhone and Apple Watch) or Android stores.
You may download the Virgin Pulse app at:
4. Are retirees able to participate in the Pulse program?
No, the Pulse program is not available to retirees.
Please note: Although Retirees cannot participate in the Pulse program, they are still eligible for the Fitness Reimbursement Benefit if they are enrolled on a Dartmouth College sponsored Cigna health plan.
5. What types of questions are asked during the enrollment process?
You will need to indicate your name, date of birth, gender/sex and email address. You will also be asked to create a password.
When enrolling, if you do not see your gender listed, or prefer not to answer, you may enroll by completing a form located here and submitting it via fax at (888) 501-6442 or via email at email@example.com. We acknowledge this is an extra step and apologize for the inconvenience. This process will be modified in the future.
1. How do I earn rewards?
Participants will have the ability to earn points in each calendar quarter by engaging with the Pulse at Dartmouth program. There are four levels within each quarter and rewards will be earned for each level completed. If level 4 is completed, the full $100 will be earned. At the end of each quarter, your points and level will reset and you will have a fresh start at earning another $100 in the subsequent quarter.
We recommend completing the Health Assessment as a starting point, as this will not only help personalize your user experience but will also provide you with 1,000 points. You may take the Health Assessment as often as you wish, but points will be awarded only once each calendar year. You may visit a Health Station to measure your weight, blood pressure and waist circumference (waist circumference is a required question on the Health Assessment).
The below images outline a sample calendar quarter for 2019 and 2020, the point levels and the rewards associated with each level. Eligible employees and spouses are each able to earn up to $100 each calendar quarter.
There will be more point earning opportunities in 2020. Sample changes are included below:
- Increased Point Earning Activities:
- Complete the Health Assessment: 1,500 points per year
- Take Validated Measurements at a Health Station: 500 points each month
- Ideal or Improved Body Mass Index at a Health Station: 100 points each month
- Ideal or Improved Blood Pressure at a Health Station: 100 points each month
- New Point Earning Opportunities:
- Complete a Journey Step: 20 points per day
- Complete a Journey: 150 points, 3 times per quarter
- Track all weeks of MOVE IT Challenge: 250 points
- Unlock a destination in a MOVE IT Challenge: 100 points
- Reach the final destination of a MOVE IT Challenge: 100 points
- Attend a Well-being Workshop: 100 points, 2 times per quarter
2. How do the rewards work?
For each level you reach within the calendar quarter, you will receive a reward. This
reward, or dollar amount also known as "PulseCash", can be redeemed for:
a. Cash deposits into a bank account of your choice;
b. A prepaid Visa card (to be used as an ATM card (ATM fees may apply) or where Visa is accepted);
c. A gift card (Amazon, Target, or a prepaid MasterCard Multi-Merchant Card that can be used at a variety of retailers); or
d. A device, device accessories or other health-related gear from the Pulse Store.
e. A donation to a charity.
3. How do I redeem my rewards?
a. Log into your Pulse account at http://dartgo.org/pulse;
b. Click on the "Rewards" tab and select "Spend My PulseCash"; and
c. Select your reward preference and follow the instructions.
4. Are my rewards taxable?
Yes, rewards are considered taxable income and applicable taxes will be withheld from payroll. The dollar amount of any rewards earned will be shared with Dartmouth's Payroll Office on a monthly basis and will be reported as imputed income on the employee's paycheck, including any rewards earned by the employee's spouse.
5. Will my rewards expire?
Rewards have no expiration date. However, if you lose eligibility for the Pulse program (e.g. you leave the College, you are no longer benefits eligible, you don't elect the Pulse program) you will have 30 days to redeem any rewards (Virgin Pulse will send you a cancellation email with your cancellation date). If you do not redeem your Pulse rewards before your account is cancelled, you may call Virgin Pulse directly at 833-532-6896 and they will provide you with a Visa or Amazon e-gift card. After a certain amount of time (it varies by state but is typically 3 years), any unclaimed rewards will be turned over to your state's abandoned property division.
1. I read that I can get a free MAX device or a comparable device. What does this mean?
Eligible participants are offered a free MAX or MAX Buzz activity and sleep tracking device (a value of $24.99 plus free shipping) during the enrollment process, or can elect a device later by clicking on "Devices & Apps" under the "Tracking" tab on the home page. Each participant may receive only one free MAX device.
To select a device:
Click on "Buy a MAX" and follow the prompts. A credit of $24.99 and free shipping will be applied after checkout. Please note: you must click on "Buy Now" to add the item to your cart to start the checkout process.
The MAX comes with a black clip and the MAX Buzz comes with a black wrist band, both free of charge. Additional clip colors and wristbands are available for an additional cost.
Participants also have the option to purchase an alternate device from the Pulse Store, such as a Misfit Shine, a Fitbit Zip, One, Flex, Charge, Charge HR or Surge. If a participant selects a non-MAX device through the Pulse Store, they will receive a credit of $24.99 toward the device of their choice. This credit cannot be used for device accessories or other health-related gear. All credits will apply after checkout. You will be responsible for a $4.00 shipping fee (shipping is regularly $8.00).
The Dartmouth College Computer Store, located in the basement of McNutt Hall, also sells activity tracking devices. Although the Pulse program credit will not be provided at the Computer Store, many of the devices are available there at an already-discounted cost.
2. What is the MAX device?
The MAX is an ultra-smart accelerometer device that tracks your activity and sleep. It will display your steps, distance, and calories burned on a large, easy to read screen. The MAX will also send you screen reminders and encouragement. The MAX requires no charging and typically has a battery life of up to 4 — 6 months. You may sync your MAX with the Virgin Pulse mobile app or through a USB cord to your computer (requires Sync software that can be downloaded at www.virginpulse.com/software.)
The Max Buzz is a sleek and water-resistant daily activity tracker. It tracks your steps, sleep, calories burned, distance, and active minutes. Max Buzz also sends you text notifications and applause. It's a smarter way to move and get rewarded with Virgin Pulse. Syncs to the Virgin Pulse mobile app — only works with devices that support the Virgin Pulse app - Android 4.3 and iOS 9.3 and above.
3. Do I have to pay for shipping if I order a device through the Pulse Store?
Participants will receive free shipping (waived $4.00 fee) when receiving their free MAX device. If participants select a different device through the Pulse store, they will receive a subsidy of $24.99 towards the device of choice but will still need to pay a $4.00 shipping fee (typically $8.00). Shipping credits will apply after checkout.
4. What other devices and/or apps can I use with the Pulse at Dartmouth program?
In addition to the MAX device, there are a variety of other devices and/or apps you can use with the Pulse program, including Fitbit, Misfit, Jawbone, Apple Watch, MyFitnessPal, Moves, Endomondo, Garmin Vivofit, Polar, and Sleep Time. To learn more about specific devices and what information is captured from each device, click here.
6. What do I do if my MAX isn't working properly?
If your MAX device is not working, call Pulse Support at 833-532-6896, or try the troubleshooting tips on the Support Page. Pulse will replace your device if it's still under warranty and none of the troubleshooting actions work. One troubleshooting tip you can try is to remove the battery from your MAX and then plug it into your PC or MAC computer (that is running the Virgin Pulse Sync software) using the micro-USB cable that came with your MAX. Do not unplug the device until all updates and the sync process are complete. All MAX devices comes with a 1-year warranty.
1. If I participate in the Pulse at Dartmouth program activities will Dartmouth have access to my identifiable health information?
No. Identifiable health data will not be shared with Dartmouth College. Only non-identifiable
health and website utilization data will be shared, and only for the purposes of program
evaluation and for future wellness program planning purposes. Names of participants
who have earned rewards will be shared with Dartmouth College for applicable tax purposes.
3. Can my participation in the Pulse at Dartmouth program affect my employment status at Dartmouth College?
No. Your participation, or your decision not to participate, will have no effect upon your employment status at Dartmouth College.
4. Can my participation in the Pulse at Dartmouth program affect my ability to get health insurance in the future, or cause a denial of a claim, or an increase in rates?
No, your participation, or your decision not to participate, will not affect your ability to get health insurance in the future, and your Pulse data is not used to determine whether a claim will be paid or denied. Your individual health data will not be shared with Cigna or any other medical insurance carriers.
1. Why should I complete the Health Assessment?
The health assessment is a lifestyle questionnaire that asks important questions about how well you are taking care of yourself. After completing your assessment you will receive an easy-to-read report that provides a snapshot of your overall well-being. You will earn 1,000 points the first time you complete your health assessment each calendar year, though you may take or update the Health Assessment as often as you wish.
2. One of the required questions on the Health Assessment is waist circumference, how do I obtain this measurement?
Tape Measures are provided at all of the Health Stations. You may also use a fabric tape measure you may have at home to measure your waist.
3. Will completing the Health Assessment affect my ability to get health insurance in the future, or cause a denial of a claim, or an increase in rates?
No, completing the health assessment will not affect your ability to get health insurance in the future, and the information in your health assessment is not used to determine whether a claim will be paid or denied. Your individual health data will not be shared with Cigna or any other medical insurance carriers.
4. If I complete the Health Assessment on mycigna.com, will I still get credit through the Pulse program?
No. Although you may complete a Health Assessment on mycigna.com, you will not receive points for doing so through the Pulse program. We recommend you complete the Health Assessment as part of the Pulse program to get the most out of your program experience and to earn Pulse points.
1. What are the Health Stations and where can I find one?
The Health Stations are places for anyone on campus to measure their weight and blood pressure. Participants in the Pulse program will be able to automatically upload their Health Station measurements to their Pulse account. Pulse program participants will receive points for utilizing the Health Stations.
Health Stations are set up across the Hanover campus, at 41 Centerra and at DHMC. See a list of Health Stations.
If you need help using the Health Station, please reach out to the Wellness Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-646-3672.
1. I have a medical condition that affects my ability to participate. Is there an alternative for me?
Rewards for participating in a wellness program are available to all eligible employees and spouses. If you are unable to meet a standard for a reward under this wellness program, you might qualify for an opportunity to earn the same reward by different means. Please contact the Pulse Support team directly at 833-532-6896 or at email@example.com and they will work with you to provide a reasonable alternative, if appropriate.
1. If I have questions about enrollment, my user experience, my MAX device, or any technical issues, who should I contact?
You may contact the Pulse Support team through the live chat feature on the program
site, by phone at 833-532-6896, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also reach out to Wellness at Dartmouth at email@example.com. However, depending upon the questions asked, we may direct you to the Pulse Support team if they will be better able to provide more appropriate assistance.