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Wellness Program Options for 2020

All active employees who regularly work 20 hours per week, at least nine months each year (sometimes referred to as "benefits eligible"), will need to elect a free Wellness Program option for 2020, 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: $365) 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. How and when do I make my wellness program election?

During the annual Open Enrollment period of October 21 - November 4, 2019, all active benefits eligible employees need to elect one of three wellness options for 2020 in FlexOnline. All new employees will elect one of these options when they enroll in benefits. 

You will not be able to change this election until the next Open Enrollment period for 2021.  If you do not elect a Wellness Program option, you will be defaulted to the Wellness Program option you had at the end of 2019 (new employees will be defaulted to the Pulse program).

2. 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.

New for 2020!

  • New point structure with more point earning opportunities including 20 digital coaching Journeys on topics such as managing stress, getting active, managing finances, eating healthy, being tobacco free, and sleeping well. Plus, more points for MOVE IT Challenges, Health Station visits, tracking nutrition, well-being workshops, and more!
  • Limited one-time promotion to receive a $15 discount on any activity tracking device purchased in the Pulse store between January 6, 2020 and February 28, 2020.

To learn more about the Pulse program, click here.

3. What is the Fitness Reimbursement Benefit option?

This benefit provides a reimbursement of up to $225 per calendar year, per family (family only includes a spouse enrolled on the employee's Dartmouth College health plan) for expenses incurred for fitness facility memberships and exercise class fees, 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). All reimbursements 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 Dartmouth Fitness Membership at Alumni Gym option?

This benefit provides a free Dartmouth Fitness Basic level annual membership to Alumni Gym (value: $365) from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. 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, 2020, or later in 2020; any membership purchases prior to July 1, 2020 will be the sole responsibility of the employee. Memberships are pro-rated beginning in November 2020. 

  • 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.

To learn more about the Dartmouth Fitness Membership option, click here

5. 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.

6. 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 only be able to change their elections on an annual basis during Open Enrollment. Any elections made during open enrollment will be effective January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020 (with the exception of the Dartmouth Fitness Membership which is effective July 1, 2020).

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 their personal tax advisor regarding the proper reporting of this income.

If an active employee retires mid-year they will continue with their elected wellness program option 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 --

wellnes2020

Last Updated: 9/24/19