How to get Wellness Reward

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UAMS SmartCare 
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The goal of the wellness program is to improve the health of employees by encouraging them to build relationships with primary care physicians, utilize wellness and preventive exams, and reduce tobacco use.   

This page only applies to employees who are enrolled in one of the University’s three medical plans.  It does not apply to covered family members. 

What will I need to do in 2019 to receive the wellness incentive reward in 2020? 

(1) Take the Tobacco Pledge again in November.  If you attest that you don’t use tobacco, or that you will participate in a cessation program if you do use tobacco, you will gain two benefits:  no tobacco surcharge in 2020, plus you’ll be eligible for the wellness reward if you also complete step 2.

(2) Visit an in-network primary care provider for your annual wellness visit.  This visit must be within the dates 11-1-2018 and 10-31-2019.   Annual wellness visits are covered in full under our medical plan as preventive care; there is no cost to you for this visit.  Last year this requirement was relaxed so that almost any office visit qualified.  But this year it must be a wellness visit.

Tobacco Surcharge 

In support of the University’s tobacco-free efforts, a monthly $50 tobacco surcharge ($23.08 if paid biweekly) will be charged to you if you are enrolled in the medical plan and:

  • You do not complete the Tobacco Pledge, or
  • You do not certify your enrollment in a tobacco cessation program, or
  • You elect to continue to use tobacco.

If you are assessed the surcharge, you will pay it with after-tax payroll deductions. The surcharge will be deducted from your pay.  It will be a separate deduction, not an addition to your medical insurance premium.

You may choose to participate in a tobacco-free/tobacco cessation program to avoid the tobacco surcharge without completing an annual wellness exam and without earning the wellness incentive.  In other words… take the tobacco pledge (which is really a tobacco-free pledge) and avoid the surcharge.  Then if you also have a qualified office visit by Nov. 1, you’ll get the wellness reward.

The surcharge will apply for the entire 2019 calendar year.  However, you will have the opportunity to submit an updated Tobacco Pledge by May 31, 2019. If you do so, and you check the boxes that qualify you as a non-tobacco user (either because you are a non-user or because you commit to enrolling in a cessation program), you won’t be charged the surcharge starting with the first pay period in July and through December, 2019.

You will be asked to re-take the Tobacco Pledge annually each November.

The following is old information – steps to take in 2018 to get the 2019 Wellness Reward.

What is the reward?

Classic & Premier Plans:  a reduction in your maximum medical plan out-of-pocket costs.  Reduced by $1400 single, $2800 family in Classic.  Reduced by $500 single, $1000 family in Premier.
Health Savings Plan:  an additional employer contribution to your HSA

2018 Communications

UAMS Benefits Update Notice – mailed in June to all benefit-eligible employees
UA Benefits Bulletin – mailed in September to medical enrollees
2018 FAQs

How do I get the 2019 Wellness Reward?

STEP # 1  – Office visit to your doctor (only required if your coverage began before 7-1-2018)
The University recently relaxed this criteria to be almost any office visit (rather than an annual physical) between Nov. 1 2017 and Nov. 1 2018.  Click the link below for specifics.

What is a qualified office visit?
To make sure you have had such a visit, view these instructions on how to verify through UMR.

STEP # 2  – Complete the Tobacco Pledge in November 2018, during open enrollment.  Or for new employees, complete along with your onboarding tasks in My Compass.  You’ll do this online via Employee Self Service (ESS).  These two answers, along with completing step # 1, will qualify you for the wellness reward:

– You’re a non-user and pledge to continue to remain tobacco-free.
– You’re a current tobacco user but commit to enroll in and complete a recognized tobacco cessation program in 2019.


Benefit plan information on these web pages is in a summary format and is not intended to replace actual plan documents. UAMS reserves the right to amend or terminate all or any part of any benefit plan.