Healthy Tigers Wellness Initiative
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Healthy Tigers Wellness Program?The Healthy Tigers Wellness Program provides an opportunity for employees to "earn" an insurance premium discount by completing a voluntary health and wellness screening. This screening will include evaluation of several health risk factors including:
- Blood pressure
- Glucose (or blood sugar)
- Height, weight and BMI
What is the last day to qualify for the Healthy Tigers program?There is no set deadline for qualifying for the Healthy Tigers program. An employee and his/her covered spouse, or covered sponsored adult dependent, who are screened during any given month will qualify for the discount for the remainder of the calendar year and for the following calendar year. Once the screening process is complete, the premium discount will go into effect within 60 days after the screening. For instance, if you and/or your covered spouse, or covered sponsored adult dependent, did not complete the screening process in calendar year 2016, your premium discount will cease after 12/31/2016. In order to reinstate the premium discount for 2017, you and/or your covered spouse, or covered sponsored adult dependent, must complete the screening process during 2017, at which time your premium discount will be reinstated within 60 days for the remainder of the 2017 calendar year and for the entire 2018 calendar year. The screening process will then need to be completed again in 2018 in order to qualify for the discount in 2019.
How can I make sure I have completed the process to receive the Healthy Tigers discount?You can check your eligibility status through AU Access (Banner) as follows:
- Log in to AU Access from the Auburn homepage
- Click the "Employee Services" tab
- Click the "Self Service Banner" tab
- Click "Benefits and Deductions"
- Click "Employee Benefit Summary"
- Click "Healthy Tigers" tab. Make sure you are viewing the correct benefit year.
How often is screening required?Only one screening is required per calendar year. If your spouse, or sponsored adult dependent, is covered by your AU BCBS policy, he/she must also be screened once each calendar year.
Can I be screened more than once a year?If more than one screening (not counting the required follow-up) is performed in a calendar year, you will be responsible for paying out of pocket for the office visit, lab work, and/or screening charges. The AU BCBS insurance plan only allows one wellness visit with your physician in a calendar year. If screening is performed by your physician and you visit a physician for an additional wellness visit or if you are screened twice by the AUPCC, you will incur costs for the second visit. It is important to note that certain lab tests associated with the Healthy Tigers Program performed by your doctor are only covered by the AU BCBS insurance plan one time in a 5 year period. Lab costs associated with this program may be billable to you if conducted by your physician.
If my spouse, or sponsored adult dependent, is covered under my AU BCBS policy, must he/she be screened?Yes. For those employees with "Family" coverage or "Employee plus Spouse (or Sponsored Adult Dependent)" coverage, both the subscriber (employee) and the covered spouse, or covered sponsored adult dependent, must be screened in order to qualify.
Can I "fail" the screening tests or fail to qualify for the Healthy Tigers program?No, the tests are not pass/fail. The only way not to qualify for the discount is to not be screened or fail to complete the referral process if an alarm value is identified. If physician follow up is required, the referral form must be returned to the Healthy Tigers office. Verification through AU Access of receipt of your form is strongly encouraged.
When is physician follow up required?If the screening results are above established thresholds, then the employee will be required to follow up with a physician before the discount will be activated (exception BMI alarm value self-management plan) The screening thresholds are:
- A systolic blood pressure (top number) equal to or greater than 160 mmHg;
- A diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) equal to or greater than 100 mmHg;
- A total cholesterol level equal to or greater than 250 mg/dL;
- A blood glucose equal to or greater than 200 mg/dL.
- BMI equal to or greater than 35 if you choose not to designate a self-management plan..
Who is eligible for the benefit?This benefit is being offered to any employee who subscribes to the Auburn University Employee Health Plan with BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama (AU BCBS). To qualify for the premium discount, both the subscriber and any covered spouse, or sponsored adult dependent, must be screened if the subscriber has "Family" coverage or "Employee plus Spouse (or Sponsored Adult Dependent)" coverage under the AU BCBS plan.
What if I am a nine month employee; how much will my discount be each pay period?Nine month employees are paid ten times per year. Based on the number of pay periods for nine month employees, the discount provided will be $30 per pay period for a total of $300 which is the same as for 12 month employees. Your total discount for each calendar year will depend on your activation date for the Healthy Tigers Wellness Initiative program.
What if an Auburn University employee does not subscribe to the Auburn University BCBS health insurance plan? Can he/she participate in the Healthy Tigers Wellness initiative? How about student workers, temporary employee services (TES) employees, and contractors?Employees who are not eligible for or elect not to subscribe to Auburn University's BCBS health insurance plan will not be eligible for the Healthy Tigers Wellness program. They will not be eligible for free health screenings, a waived co-pay for follow up physician care, or the $25.00 health insurance premium discount. However, Auburn University is committed to encouraging a health and wellness culture on campus and providing access to health and wellness resources to the Auburn University family. Therefore, employees in these categories can schedule a health and wellness screening at the AUPCC for a fee of $30.00 (which reflects an employee discount for the testing). A pharmacist will provide individualized counseling on the results.
How can an employee or his/her spouse (or sponsored adult dependent) schedule an appointment for a Healthy Tigers wellness assessment?
- Go to the Healthy Tigers web site and click "Schedule Appointment Online".
- Click "Register Now" below the location and date in which you would like to register to be screened.
- Complete the required information. Be sure to click the "ENTER" button in order to continue.
- You will receive an email and you MUST follow the confirmation instructions to complete your registration. Please confirm your registration as soon as receiving the email. If you do not confirm the appointment, it will not save the appointment.
- Separate appointments must be made for each person, (i.e., your spouse, or sponsored adult dependent). Be sure to return to the Healthy Tigers main page and click "Schedule Appointment Online" prior to scheduling a separate appointment for your spouse (or sponsored adult dependent).
What if I would like to get the Healthy Tigers testing done at my physician's office?That is perfectly fine; you simply need to print the Healthcare Provider Screening Form from the Healthy Tigers website and take it with you to your physician's office. Please note: Lab, office visit and other screening costs associated with some of the Healthy Tigers screening procedures, if conducted by your physician, may be billable to you unless they are deemed to be medically necessary. The AU BCBS insurance plan only allows one wellness visit from your physician in a calendar year. If screening is performed by your physician and you visit a physician for an additional wellness visit, you will incur costs for the second visit. See your BCBS Summary of Benefits for more information and consult with your doctor or his/her office staff to determine how this might affect you and if you may be responsible to pay for the full amount of the testing.
What if an employee or his/her spouse (or sponsored adult dependent) already has an established relationship with a physician and has had this testing performed recently? Do they have to repeat the testing in order to receive the premium discount?If an employee or his/her spouse (or sponsored adult dependent) has visited a physician and has had lab work completed in the current calendar year, those results can be used. The employee will need to print the Healthcare Provider Screening Form and follow the instructions. The employee or the covered spouse (or sponsored adult dependent) must complete and sign Section 1 of the form including all contact information and AU BCBS contract number. Forms received without all identifying information (name, date of birth, contract #, Banner ID # if applicable, etc.) will not be accepted and therefore will not qualify you for the insurance premium discount. The physician will need to complete, sign, and date Section 2 of the form, and you or your physician may submit the completed screening form to the Healthy Tigers office by mail, fax, hand deliver, or email. Forms received without the required screening data (cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, height, weight and BMI) will not be accepted and therefore will not qualify you for the insurance premium discount. The address, phone number, e-mail address, and fax number are provided at the bottom of the form.
If I have my physician submit the Healthcare Provider Screening form to the Healthy Tigers office, how will I know when the Healthy Tigers office has received it?You can check your eligibility status through AU Access (Banner) as follows:
- Log in to AU Access from the Auburn homepage;
- Click the "Employee Services" tab;
- Click the "Self Service Banner" tab;
- Click "Benefits and Deductions";
- Click "Employee Benefit Summary";
- Click "Healthy Tigers" tab. Make sure you are viewing the correct benefit year.
What if an employee or his/her covered spouse (or sponsored adult dependent) already knows that he/she has high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol and is receiving medical care from a physician for these conditions? Does he/she have to repeat the testing in order to receive the premium discount?Yes. The employee and, if applicable, his/her spouse (or sponsored adult dependent) who is covered by the AU BCBS plan must either participate in the health screening program or get a physician to complete the Healthcare Provider Screening Form. For screenings completed by the AUPCC, if the laboratory results are higher than the threshold values described above, then the employee will still receive a waived co-pay for a physician office visit for further follow up in order to facilitate improved disease control.
How long will appointments take?The AUPCC reserves up to 20 minutes per employee to provide all testing, interpretation of results and appropriate counseling. If coordination of follow up care with a physician is needed, then this might add up to 15 additional minutes to the time required for the appointment.
Do I need to fast before my appointment?No, fasting is not required.
Will AU supervisors allow employees to complete these screenings during the work day?Maybe. All supervisors are encouraged to provide support for the AU Healthy Tigers Initiative and facilitate employee participation. However, due to the varying responsibilities of AU employees, this may not be possible in every situation. Supervisors are encouraged to be as accommodating as possible for screenings offered by the AUPCC (without disrupting or adversely impacting job responsibilities). If the employee chooses to go to a physician for testing, the employee will be required to take sick leave for these appointments as outlined by AU Human Resources' policies and procedures.
Will this benefit be continued after 2017?Currently, Auburn University plans to continue the Healthy Tigers Wellness Initiative. However, the Healthy Tigers Wellness requirements, health and wellness interventions, and the participant incentive may change in future years. The rules are regulated by the Affordable Care Act and will be updated each year as needed. For AU employees with AU BCBS "Family" or "Employee plus Spouse (or Sponsored Adult Dependent)" coverage, both the employee and the spouse (or sponsored adult dependent) must be screened and any required follow up completed in order to qualify for the premium discount.
Will the employee be required to reach any specific clinical goals in order to be eligible for the discount (i.e., get his/her total cholesterol below 250 mg/dL etc.)?No. The purpose of the Healthy Tigers is to increase awareness of health risks, the need for behavioral change, and treatment as needed. The goal is to decrease the employee's health risks. Therefore, the employee does not have to reach specific goals in order to be eligible for the premium discount.
Does the employee have to consult a specific physician for follow up?No. The employee is free to schedule an appointment with his/her own physician for follow up. If the employee does not have a physician, the Healthy Tigers office may be able to assist you in locating a physician.
Are the screenings being offered at the Auburn University Medical Clinic (AUMC, sometimes called the Student Clinic) on the main campus??No. Auburn University Medical Clinic (also known as the Student Clinic) is a contracted service operated by East Alabama Medical Center. The Healthy Tigers screenings are being coordinated through the Auburn University Pharmaceutical Care Center (AUPCC). The AUPCC is working very closely with the AUMC medical group to facilitate follow up care for employees with abnormal values. The AUMC will be a referral source for employees who do not have an established relationship with a physician in the area and need assistance with coordinating follow up care.
What are the goals of the Healthy Tigers Wellness Initiative?The goals of the Healthy Tigers Wellness Initiative are that AU employees:
- will have an increased interest in health and wellness;
- will have an increased health-related quality of life;
- will have increased energy and productivity;
- will establish a "medical home" with a physician;
- will address health risks as early as possible in order to prevent disease progression and possible health complications;
- will engage in wellness activities; and
- will commit to risk factor reduction through lifestyle changes and self-management of overall health risks.
What are the potential benefits of the Healthy Tigers Wellness Initiative for Auburn University?Studies have shown that fostering a work environment that encourages health and wellness can lead to:
- improved employee health;
- increased productivity;
- decreased absenteeism;
- stabilization of healthcare and pharmacy costs; and
- stabilization of health insurance premium costs (for employees' out-of-pocket costs and the employers' fringe benefit costs)