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Feature

A man in a white mustache and blue T-shirt prepared to lift weights from a horizontal bench.

Strengthen your resolve--exercise eight times a month at a participating fitness center and receive a membership dues reimbursement of up to $20 per month.

To your health in 2008

Sign up for fitness rewards or take the health assessment

By Susan Wiese

Brief, Jan. 16, 2008

After ringing in the New Year a couple of weeks ago with a commitment to get in shape and eat better, is your resolve wavering?

In 2008, the Employee Wellness Program can help you stay motivated to achieve your fitness and nutrition goals. Under the new UPlan Fitness Rewards program, an employee who exercises eight times a month at a participating fitness center can receive a membership dues reimbursement of up to $20 per month. And, for the third consecutive year, UPlan members who complete or repeat the online UPlan Wellness Assessment can earn UPlan Wellness Rewards for their participation in Health Connections.

UPlan Fitness Rewards rolls out

The UPlan Fitness Rewards program ties directly to two existing fitness incentive programs: Frequent Fitness through HealthPartners, and Fit Choices through Medica. Included on the list of participating fitness centers are the U rec centers at UMD, UMM, and UMTC.

So far, on the Twin Cities campus alone, 775 employees have signed up for the new benefit. Employees who exercise at the U Rec Center can enroll online or onsite using a kiosk at the rec facility. If you join or belong to a health club near your home, you are required to register in person at the club. All prospective UPlan Fitness Rewards program participants need to know their health plan ID number, so have your health plan card with you when you sign up for Fitness Rewards.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

If you have more questions about the UPlan Fitness Rewards program, contact your fitness center. Your health plan's customer service representatives can also provide assistance.
HealthPartners
800-883-2177
Medica
800-952-3455

Contact the following service providers if you have questions about...

Health Connections
Health Resource Center for Healthways, Inc. (formerly Harris HealthTrends)
877-247-9204

UPlan Wellness Assessment
StayWell Health Management
800-926-5455

For answers to questions about illness, injury, or medical care, University employees can talk to a registered nurse using the Ask Mayo Clinic 24-hour nurse line, 888-887-2593.

Employee Benefits
612-624-9090
800-756-2363
E-mail well@umn.edu

With regular workouts underway, expect to get your financial reward for January's physical effort two months from now. It will show up either as a reduction in fitness center monthly dues or as a direct deposit into your checking or savings account, depending upon how the fitness center administers the payment process.

If you're a member of a fitness center that is currently not participating in the program, contact your health plan customer care representative and let them know that your preferred club is not in their network. It's up to Medica's Fit Choices and HealthPartners' Frequest Fitness administrators to negotiate with your preferred center to become a participating facility.

Rediscover the rewards of Health Connections

For the third consecutive year, the UPlan Wellness Assessment is available to employees who want to gauge the status of their health. If you've been a Health Connections participant in the past and have previously taken the online wellness assessment, you are encouraged to repeat the 20-minute questionnaire to measure how your health risks and lifestyle have changed.

When your spouse or same-sex domestic partner (if covered by the UPlan Medical Program) takes the wellness assessment, he or she can also receive a $65 Wellness Reward.

About 8,500 employees took the assessment during each of the first two years of the Health Connections program. So far in 2008, more than 1,200 have taken or retaken it, so the year is off to a good start.

The UPlan Wellness Assessment is hosted online by StayWell Health Management, which has revamped its Web site to include more health information resources, tracking tools, calorie counters, and more. Go to Health Connections to connect to the UPlan Wellness Assessment, a health coach, or additional follow-up health improvement programs. If you need help with the assessment or would prefer a printed version, call Staywell Health Management at 800-926-5455.


Susan Wiese is the Employee Wellness communications project manager in the Office of Human Resources, Twin Cities campus.