The Iola-Scandinavia School District will be offering a Health Incentive Program to their employees, beginning in January 2013.
“A Personal Health Assessment program is now required by our health insurance carrier,” said Jon Novak, business manager for the district.
“The program is voluntary for individuals, but mandatory for the school district,” he said. “All school employees and spouses that subscribe to the health insurance are being asked to participate.”
Beginning Jan. 1, employees will be asked to submit to a blood draw and interview regarding height, weight and body mass index. This will be followed by an online health survey that includes such questions as alcohol consumption, tobacco use, stress and other living habits.
“All of this is paid for by WEA health insurance,” said Novak.
Once the employee completes these steps, WEA will send them a $25 prepaid credit card. In addition, the school will be giving $50 in I-S chamber bucks.
“In order for the district to receive a discount on our projected premium increase for the upcoming year, we need to have a very high participation from our members,” said District Administrator Duane Braun. “Because participation in this new program is voluntary, the additional incentive was created to encourage WEA members and their spouses to complete the assessment.”
“Our committee was looking for a method to reward our employees, but keep the incentive locally,” Novak said. “Chamber bucks were a perfect fit for the program and our local community.”
“We anticipate the cost to be about $5,000 for the rewards,” Novak added. “The potential premium savings is around $45,000 per year. If we don’t meet our goals this year, we will look at premium differentials in future years.”
Approximately 100 employees and their spouses are expected to participate in the program. WEA indicates that 30-35 of those people will be identified as needing life-style changes.
“WEA has offered this program as a lifestyle intervention program,” said Braun. “It’s a win-win program as we strive to provide our WEA members health and wellness opportunities which will also help reduce future health insurance premium increases.”
“I am a willing participant in the Health Incentive Program,” said I-S math teacher Chris Nelson. “I would encourage others to participate as well. Anything that we can do as a district to control health care costs is a good investment.”
“The district is working to provide the opportunity to empower our employees, and give them the opportunity to achieve and maintain optimal health and develop lifelong wellness,” said Braun.
“Participants will be invited to participate in a seven-week program, paid for by WEA, to learn about healthy living styles,” Novak said. “This is voluntary and does not affect the district as a whole.”
“The district will receive aggregate information,” he said. “With the help of our insurance company and the I-S Community Fitness & Aquatic Center, we can offer resources to our employees for a healthier life style.”
The program is completely confidential for the participants.