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Wellness Incentive

Program Update | April 20, 2020: With the financial challenges facing our institution and the cost containment efforts systemwide, the University has made the decision to discontinue the Wellness Incentive program after the Cycle 1 deadline.

The decision to discontinue the Wellness Incentive was not made lightly. However, the incentive program is a cost in our University’s medical plans, which impacts premiums paid by both employees and our institution. In addition, the program did not appear to reduce overall health care costs for the University and our employees, as was originally intended. The Total Rewards Advisory Committee (TRAC), a systemwide group consisting of faculty, staff and retirees, helped evaluate the decision and agreed with discontinuing the program.

All faculty and staff are encouraged to take advantage of the many University resources that can help them make their health and wellness a priority, but these will no longer be tied to an incentive payment. Programs that have traditionally fallen under the umbrella of the Wellness Incentive, such as the Real Appeal program with UHC and Weight Watchers, will continue at this time but will no longer earn participants points. We encourage you to explore UM System Wellness resources, including financial wellness resources, or the personal well-being resources available on the COVID-19 Updates webpage.

Note: Details provided here are for informational purposes.

About the program

The UM System Wellness Incentive promotes employee wellness by offering incentive money to eligible employees who take steps to live a healthier lifestyle. Once you elect a medical plan choice, you will be eligible to participate in the Wellness Incentive.*

Timeline and structure

Cycle 1 of the 2020 Wellness Incentive ended April 30, 2020. To complete Cycle 1, participants needed to earn and submit 225 points between November 1, 2019, and April 30, 2020. Those who completed Cycle 1 earned $225* in their final May 2020 paycheck.**

Who can participate?

Any University faculty or staff member may participate in Wellness Incentive activities, but only an employee who (1) is in active primary status, (2) is at least .75 FTE, and (3) pays premiums for a UM medical insurance plan (i.e., primary subscriber, rather than a spouse/partner being the primary subscriber) can earn incentive money.


Alternatives are available to employees with health conditions or disabilities that make it unreasonably difficult (or medically inadvisable) to attempt to meet a standard in a wellness program. Email to discuss the alternatives available to you.

Many documents on this webpage require Adobe Acrobat. A free reader is available to everyone. Read more about PDFs.

*Health information you provide as part of the incentive program is stored in a third-party data system maintained by Cerner Corporation and protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Information is not shared with UHC, your medical administrator. Data is de-identified and accumulated to provide collective information that assists your employer in developing programs to address general health behaviors and prevalent health issues. Read the UM System Notice of Privacy Practices at for details.

**Wellness Incentive earnings are taxed and voluntary retirement contributions are deducted, just like with other earnings.

Reviewed 2020-06-25


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