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Tobacco-free discount on medical insurance premiums

The University of Missouri System supports your goals to live a healthier, tobacco-free lifestyle. To earn a discount on UM System medical insurance premiums you must certify that you and family members covered by your insurance plan are tobacco free or in a cessation program. For discount purposes:

  • "Tobacco free" means that the employee and all dependents covered by a university medical plan have been tobacco free starting at least three months prior to January 1, and will continue to be free from the use of tobacco products through the calendar year.*
  • "Tobacco" includes any form of tobacco product that is smoked (e.g., cigarettes, cigars, and pipes); applied to the gums, chewed or ingested (e.g., dipping, chewing leaf tobacco); and/or inhaled (e.g., snuff or electronic cigarettes).

Medical insurance premiums will be discounted $50/month for active faculty and staff who certify they are tobacco free or in a cessation program. The tobacco discount is not offered to retirees or those receiving LTD benefits. You can be sure you will earn immediate savings by going tobacco free, not only by reducing the cost of insurance, but also by avoiding the cost of tobacco products if you are a tobacco user. The average Missouri smoker can expect to save $2,090 per year by quitting. That's on the cost of cigarettes alone.** Long term, you can expect even more savings by committing to a healthier lifestyle.

Enrollment period Requirements

Annual Enrollment

During the university’s two-week Annual Enrollment period conducted each fall, all faculty and staff will be required to submit a new Tobacco Attestation for the upcoming plan year. Your discount will be applied January 1 of the following year. If during Annual Enrollment:

  • You certified you or your covered dependents are enrolled in a tobacco cessation program, you will be required to complete a Midyear Recertification.
  • You certified you or your covered dependents are a tobacco user, you declined to respond on the attestation, or you were defaulted, you are eligible to complete a Midyear Certification by June 30.
  • You certified you or your covered dependents are tobacco-free, then you will receive the discount through December 31 and will not be required to complete another Tobacco Attestation until the next Annual Enrollment.
Newly benefits-eligible (new hire or transitioned to a benefit-eligible position)

If you are newly benefit eligible, you are required to complete a Tobacco Attestation within 31 days of your effective date. The attestation is part of the benefit enrollment process.

If you certify during your initial enrollment that you or your covered dependents are tobacco-free, then you will receive the discount through December 31 and will not be required to complete another Tobacco Attestation until the next Annual Enrollment.

January-March hires:

  • If you certify during your initial enrollment that you or your covered dependents are enrolled in a tobacco cessation program, you will be required to complete a Midyear Recertification.
  • If you certify that you or your covered dependents are a tobacco user, you declined to respond on the attestation, or you were defaulted, you are eligible to complete a Midyear Certification by June 30.

April-July hires:

  • The election made on your Tobacco Attestation during your initial enrollment will remain in effect until December 31.
  • You will be required to complete another Tobacco Attestation during the next Annual Enrollment.
Family Status Change (FSC)

If you experience a family status change, as defined in your medical insurance Summary Plan Document, you have the option to add and/or remove dependents. When you complete a benefit change form, you will also be required to complete a new Tobacco Attestation, with the exception of the birth or adoption of a newborn.

If you are tobacco free and add a tobacco user to your medical plan, your contribution will be changed to the non-discounted rate on the first of the month following the family status change.

If you remove a dependent that uses tobacco from your plan and you are tobacco free, your contribution will be changed to the discounted rate on the first of the month following the family status change.

Midyear Recertification (required if enrolled in tobacco cessation program)

If you certified during Annual Enrollment or during your newly benefit eligible period (January-March only) that you or your covered dependents are enrolled in a tobacco cessation program, you are eligible for the tobacco-free discount through June. By June 30, you will be required to recertify that all covered family members are tobacco free or in a cessation program by completing the Midyear Tobacco Attestation.

If you do not recertify, you will be charged the non-discounted premium rate from July to December.

Midyear Recertification (optional)

If you certified during Annual Enrollment or during your newly benefit eligible period (January-March only) that you or your covered dependents are a tobacco user, you declined to respond on the attestation, or you were defaulted, you have an opportunity to earn the Tobacco Discount for July 1-December 31, by completing the Midyear Tobacco Attestation by no later than June 30.


A number of cessation programs are provided to all university faculty, staff, retirees, and spouses and dependents—regardless of whether you’re enrolling in university medical insurance. Plus, qualified nicotine replacement therapy is 100% covered by insurance. Qualifying details and many free resources are listed on the Tobacco Cessation webpage.

If you begin using tobacco products during the plan year, you must submit a new Tobacco Attestation to your Total Rewards Generalist or HR Service Center at the time you begin using the products. Contributions will be adjusted the first of the month following the date you submitted the new Tobacco Attestation.

Active faculty and staff who use tobacco, decline to answer/complete the attestation, or waive the university’s medical insurance are not eligible for the tobacco discount.

The tobacco discount is not offered to retirees or those receiving LTD benefits.

Questions?

Contact your on-campus Total Rewards Generalist; visit the on-campus contacts page for details.

The HR Service Center is also available to answer questions for all employees. Contact a representative at (573) 882-2146, toll free at (800) 488-5288, or at HRServiceCenter@umsystem.edu.

* Newly benefit-eligible employees must be tobacco free at least three months prior to their benefit eligibility date.

** Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (2014, December). Immediate smoker savings from quitting in each state. PDF retrieved 12 May 2015 at http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0337.pdf

Reviewed March 29, 2017.