CMU employees to receive $600 check for participation in wellness program
Central Michigan University will reward 247 employees for making healthy life choices through participation in the university’s wellness program.
“Ca$h in on Wellness” is a program with four components encouraging good health practices. Employees who completed all four components of the program will receive $600 dollars.
The money comes from a gain-share fund, which is the result of a positive cash balance in the university’s health plans at the end of each fiscal year, which occurs when claims for the year are lower than expected. In order to determine the amount received by each person, the balance is divided by all eligible employees.
This year’s payout was capped at $600 per person, although that cap has been removed for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Funds left by employees who don’t participate are divided evenly and put toward wellness programs and the university’s general fund.
“At the end of the day, we want to strive for good general health,” University President George Ross said Tuesday in a meeting with Central Michigan Life staff members. “It costs less for us and a huge plus is that our employees remain healthy.”
The four phases of healthy living that must be fulfilled in order to receive the stipend are: the completion of a health risk assessment, exercise for 30 minutes a day, three days per week, get an annual physical and lab work and participate in four wellness screenings or programs.
“Gain-sharing is a part of our wellness program to help make healthy living a priority,” Lori Hella, associate vice president for Human Resources said. “It is a challenge to complete all four phases. (Exercise) seems to be the hardest portion, while some is a challenge of just tracking.”
Just over 16 percent of the 1,490 employees eligible to participate completed all four components, which translates to 247 people. More than 850 employees completed at least one component in the last fiscal year.
“I think it’s been a great program, and it greatly impacts their benefits cost,” Hella said. “Last year, we saw around a 20-percent increase.”
The wellness program was originally launched in 2006-07, with payment added as an incentive the following year.
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