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Wellness Program Options for 2019

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"), will need to elect a free Wellness Program option for 2019, even if you waive medical coverage. These wellness programs are offered as a benefit of employment and not as part of the group health plan. The three Wellness Program options include:

Option 1: Pulse Program provides cash rewards of up to $400 ($800/family) for participating in a variety of activities including step-based team MOVE IT challenges, individual healthy habit challenges, daily health tips, activity, sleep and nutrition trackers, and more

Option 2: Fitness Reimbursement Benefit provides up to $225 for expenses incurred for fitness facility memberships and exercise class fees (including online/DVD exercise classes)

Option 3: Dartmouth Fitness Membership at Alumni Gym provides a free Dartmouth Fitness Basic level annual membership (value: $355) from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. If you would like to upgrade to a Plus level membership, providing you with access to Zimmerman Fitness Center, you will be able to do so by paying the additional cost ($110).

All three options will be subject to applicable tax withholdings.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why is Dartmouth making changes to their wellness program options for 2019?

Dartmouth is making changes based on feedback from faculty and staff.

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

During the annual open enrollment period of October 22 - November 5, 2018, all active benefits eligible employees elected one of three wellness options for the 2019 calendar year. All new employees will elect one of these options when they enroll in benefits.

Option 1: Pulse Program provides cash rewards of up to $400 ($800/family) for participating in a variety of activities including step-based team MOVE IT challenges, individual healthy habit challenges, daily health tips, activity, sleep and nutrition trackers, and more

Option 2: Fitness Reimbursement Benefit provides up to $225 for expenses incurred for fitness facility memberships and exercise class fees (including online/DVD exercise classes)

Option 3: Dartmouth Fitness Membership at Alumni Gym provides a free Dartmouth Fitness Basic level annual membership (value: $355) from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. If you would like to upgrade to a Plus level membership, providing you with access to Zimmerman Fitness Center, you will be able to do so by paying the additional cost ($110).

All three 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 facility memberships 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 and eligible expenses, 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, yoga and mindfulness resources, 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). New participants 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. What is the Dartmouth Fitness Membership option?

This benefit provides a free Dartmouth Fitness Basic level annual membership to Alumni Gym (value: $355) from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. If you would like to upgrade to a Plus level membership, providing you with access to Zimmerman Fitness Center, you will be able to do so by paying the additional cost ($110).

Please note: All Dartmouth Fitness memberships expire on June 30 of each year and renewals begin on July 1. This benefit applies only to memberships beginning July 1, 2019, or later in 2019; any membership purchases prior to July 1, 2019 will be the sole responsibility of the employee. Memberships are pro-rated beginning in November 2019; if you purchase a membership in November or December 2019, you will receive a free Basic level membership (value: $255), or if you upgrade to a Plus level membership, you would need to pay the additional cost ($70).  Annual membership renewals must be made in person at the Dartmouth Fitness Membership Office to receive this benefit.  There will be no tax refunds if you get a refund on your membership; consult with a tax advisor.

  • Dartmouth Fitness Basic level membership provides access to the indoor racquet and squash courts, indoor track and gymnasium, and the swimming pools within Alumni Gym.
  • Dartmouth Fitness Plus level membership provides access to all of the Alumni Gym facilities included in the Basic level membership and also to the Zimmerman Fitness Center, which has a wide selection of cardio and strength training equipment.

6. I am a current Dartmouth Fitness member, how will the Dartmouth Fitness Membership wellness program option work for me?

When you renew your membership in July 2019, you will receive the value of the Basic membership for free. If you are a Plus member, you will only be charged for the difference in cost between the two plans ($110). You must renew your membership in person at the Dartmouth Fitness Membership Office (you will not receive this benefit if you renew your membership online). 

7. I am not a current Dartmouth Fitness member, how will the Dartmouth Fitness Membership wellness program option work for me?

If you purchase a gym membership between July 1 and December 31, 2019, you will receive the value of the basic membership for free. If you choose to upgrade to a Plus level membership, you will be responsible for covering the difference in cost (up to $110). If you choose to purchase a membership prior to July 1, 2019, you are responsible for paying the cost of your membership through June 30, 2019. This benefit apples only to memberships beginning July 1 - December 31, 2019.

8. If I am a current Dartmouth Fitness member, can I renew my membership online in 2019?

No, as this is a benefit election, you will need to renew your membership in-person at the membership office to receive this benefit.

9. Can I use the Dartmouth Fitness Membership option towards the cost of a locker at Alumni Gym?

No, lockers are not included in this benefit. If you would like to purchase a locker, you will be responsible for covering the cost.

10. Can I use the Dartmouth Fitness Membership option towards the cost of FLIP classes?

No, FLIP classes are not included in the Dartmouth Fitness Membership option.  

11. Can I use the Dartmouth Fitness Membership option before July 1, 2019?

No. Since Dartmouth Fitness Memberships run on a fiscal year basis starting July 1, this benefit is not available for use until July 1, 2019. If you decide to purchase a partial year membership prior to July 1, you will be responsible for covering the cost of that membership. When you go to renew your membership for July 1, you would then receive the value of a free basic level membership ($355) at time of renewal (renewals must be done in person).

12. If I have a spouse enrolled on my medical plan, are they also eligible for the Dartmouth Fitness Membership option?

No. The Dartmouth Fitness Membership option is available for active employees only.

13. Are the Pulse rewards, the Fitness Benefit reimbursement, and/or the Dartmouth Fitness Membership option considered taxable income?

Yes, all three 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.

14. Can I change wellness program options mid-year?

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

15. Does Dartmouth College have discounted membership rates at any local fitness facilities?

No. There are currently no discounted memberships at any local fitness facilities.

16. 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 advisor regarding the proper reporting of this income.

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

17. How can I compare the Wellness Program Options?

Please see below for a chart that compares the three Wellness Program options -- 

wellness options

Last Updated: 1/16/19