State hopes new wellbeing and reward program will make for healthier employees and plan

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Earlier this month, you may have received messages from Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) about the new wellbeing and reward program launched through its State Employee Group Insurance Program (SEGIP).

Collect 200 points by Oct. 31 of this year, and SEGIP will pay the first $70 of your deductible in 2021. Only active employees enrolled in SEGIP’s MN Advantage Health Plan can participate in wellbeing activities to earn points. Through this year, members will continue to earn the $5 office visit copay discount and next year SEGIP will pay the first $70 of your deductible.  

You’ll need to complete enough activities from a list of activities to reach 200 points by Oct. 31. Just getting your flu shot and taking the health care assessment gets you to the 200 points. Other activities range from tracking your calories (20 points) or steps (40) to preventative care (50). All activities must be logged onto your Virgin Pulse, the wellbeing program vendor, app. Visit their page online to create an account, or download their mobile app.

According to MAPE President Chet Jorgenson, all the state employee unions were hearing that members wanted more incentive for a healthy lifestyle. Taking the health assessment by itself was not improving employees’ health. In addition, many employees did not take advantage of the reduction in copays.

“SEGIP proposed that the money spent on the reduction in copays as an incentive to take the health assessment could be used better. This experiment’s intent is to improve our health and allow more members to take advantage of the reduction in copays,” he added.

MAPE is part of the Joint Labor-Management Committee on Healthcare which includes AFSCME, Middle Management Association and the other employee union groups.  

“The joint labor-management healthcare coalition discussed this as one way to help encourage employees to improve their overall health and keep SEGIP, one of the most reasonable plans around, sustainable,” Jorgenson said.

Healthcare costs continue to escalate nationwide and for the first time, the average cost of family coverage in employer health plans cost more than $20,000 last year.