New Plan Year – New Activities on Your Checklist!

When logging into MyEvive, you and your covered spouse may see up to 11 health and wellness activities on your MyEvive Personalized Checklist (PCL). These may include your annual wellness exam, nationally-recommended preventive screenings, registration in various benefit programs, self-paced wellness courses, and more. They are personalized based on general demographic information and recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force. Some items show up for everyone by default because System Benefits Administration does not receive personal health data to know who may or may not be eligible to participate. You can choose any two activities to complete for the $30 wellness incentive credit for FY22. Credits are applied to the next plan year for tasks completed in the current plan year*.

New activities this plan year include flu shots, nutritional counseling, and preventive skin care exams.

Completing any two steps on your PCL will ensure that you have the lowest rate for your health insurance premium. Be sure to complete these activities by June 30, 2021, and allow some time for processing! Retirees and graduate student employees enrolled in the Graduate Plan already receive the lower premium and do not need to participate. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield-Well onTarget Health Assessment and your annual wellness exam will still count as the alternative to using the MyEvive portal.

*The checklists restarted September 1, 2020. Simply complete two tasks in FY21 for credit in FY22.

Fighting Rising Healthcare Costs through Programming

Inflating healthcare costs have been a trending topic in medical, insurance, and employer conversations for many years. Despite high spending on healthcare in the United States, the life expectancy average is 78.8 years compared to a range of 80.7 to 83.9 in 10 other high-income, industrialized countries. Americans pay almost four times as much for pharmaceutical drugs as citizens of other developed countries, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). And, only 90% of the U.S. population has health insurance1.

Attributing to the increasing costs are a surprisingly small group of high cost claimants for most employer populations. A study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found that generally, “20 percent of those insured by employer-based health benefits in the U.S. account for 80 percent of total spending on health care service” with a mere one percent accounting for 28 percent of total spending.

The study examined 5.8 million, employer-insured individuals that spent $38 billion on healthcare services in 2017 and found that the two percent of the population consistently spending the highest amount for healthcare services in 5 years accounted for 19 percent of total spending in 2017. The individuals had similar characteristics such as the presence of certain medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, back problems/connective tissues problems, and respiratory diseases, and in most cases the claimants were the spouse of the insurance policy holder2.

Based on this data, it is not surprising to find the A&M System insured population of over 50,000 individuals mirrors these trends. Reports from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, the health insurance carrier for the A&M System, show that 5 percent of the current health plan population is diabetic (2,241 members), 15% of the current health plan population has hypertension (6,384 members), 20% of the current health plan population has both diabetes and hypertension (8,625 members), and 21% of the current health plan population has a musculoskeletal condition involving the back, knee, hip, neck or shoulder (12.932 members)3.

MyEvive also reported concerning health numbers on the MyEvive health survey that was applied as a wellness incentive credit activity in 2019. 58% of about 15,000 people completed the Heath Assessment and of those respondents, one-fifth self-diagnosed as having hypertension. 39% of respondents identified as having two or less of the indicators of metabolic syndrome, 4% said symptoms of a chronic condition held them back from doing day-to-day activities, and 24% would like to know more about nutrition.4 The infographic below provides more data about the A&M System population and its engagement with activities on the MyEvive checklists.

How A&M System Benefits Administration is responding
The EBRI confirms that cost-sharing is simply not enough to combat the rising costs of healthcare2. Industry experts encourage employers to help employees tackle conditions before they become high cost claimants through wellness programming. In 2018, the A&M System expanded its incentive-driven Wellness Program from employees completing a wellness exam for credit as had been the case for the last 4 years, to completing both the annual exam and the assessment survey. This encouraged employees to access MyEvive, which houses a plethora of benefit program resources, reminds employees about preventive screenings, chronic condition management, and other gaps in care. It also identified areas in the program which could be improved, such as an increase in access to nutritional resources and stress management.

In 2019, the program was again expanded to include more options and programs available to the A&M System-insured population, outside of preventive screenings. Employees were encouraged to take Well onTarget self-management courses, engage with Naturally Slim, or use a virtual service for behavioral health management.

Because the insurance plan has seen favorable results from these efforts and all-time high preventive screening adherence rates, premiums are remaining steady for full-time employees in FY2021, for the 5th year in a row. That is extremely uncommon in the medical insurance community today, with the exponential rising cost of healthcare. The wellness program is again expanding to include preventive skin care screening, nutritional counseling, and flu shots, combined with a new approach brought to us by some new vendor partners. The A&M System and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas have partnered with Omada, Livongo, and Hinge Health to address chronic condition management for diabetes, hypertension, and musculoskeletal conditions in the A&M System insured population. These partners simplify treatment by using digital education and technology, making their programs easy-to-follow and more engaging for eligible individuals.

It is too early to tell if these continued efforts will drive costs down, but all signs point to “yes”. A&M System Benefits Administration continues to adjust wellness programming and insurance plan design to meet the needs of its insured population while maintaining a robust benefit package for everyone enrolled.

 

1- JAMA. “Health Care Spending in the United States and Other High-Income Countries.” https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2674671
2-https://www.ebri.org/docs/default-source/ebri-press-release/pr-1254-highcostclaims-24oct19.pdf
3-This data is based on claims and provided to the A&M System Benefits Administration Office as aggregate, demographic data to protect the privacy of individuals according to HIPAA laws.
4-This data is based on aggregate data from an anonymous survey and individual details are not shared with A&M System Benefits Administration according to HIPAA laws. MyEvive Annual Report.

Two-Step Wellness Program Reminder

Two-Step Wellness Program Reminder

When logging into MyEvive, employees and covered spouses may see up to 7 health and wellness activities on their MyEvive Personalized Checklists (PCL). These may include your annual wellness exam, nationally-recommended preventive screenings, registration in various benefit programs, self-paced wellness courses, and more. They are personalized based on general demographic information and recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force. Some items, like Naturally Slim, show up for everyone by default because System Benefits Administration does not receive personal health data to know who may or may not be eligible to participate. You can choose any two activities to complete for the incentive credit for FY21. Credits are applied to the next plan year for tasks completed in the current plan year*.

Completing any two steps on your PCL will ensure that you have the lowest rate for your health insurance premiums. Be sure to complete these activities by August 31, the extended deadline, and allow some time for processing! Retirees and graduate student employees enrolled in the Graduate Plan already receive the lower premium and do not need to participate. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield-Well onTarget Health Assessment and your annual wellness exam will still count as the alternative to using the MyEvive portal.

*Those who had not yet completed the HA and Wellness Exam to receive credit for FY20 can still complete these two tasks to receive their credit for the remainder of this fiscal year. If one of those checklist items was completed in FY19, you must then complete one more task to equal two tasks in the current plan year to receive the credit for FY21. The checklists will restart in FY21, with no partial completion accepted; simply complete two tasks in FY21 for credit in FY22.

Some new wellness tasks will be replacing some existing ones at the start of the new plan year so be looking for those!

Two-Step Wellness Program Reminder

Two-Step Wellness Program Reminder and Update

When logging into MyEvive, employees and covered spouses in the A&M Care Plans will see a variety health and wellness activities on their MyEvive Personalized Checklists (PCL). These may include your annual wellness exam, nationally-recommended preventive screenings, registration in various benefit programs, self-paced wellness courses, and more. Items on your checklist are programmatically displayed based on age/gender, United States Preventive Task Force Guidelines on preventive screenings, and then educational wellness activities. Some items, like Naturally Slim, show up for everyone by default because System Benefits Administration does not receive personal health data to single out those services. You can choose any two activities to complete for the incentive credit for FY21. Credits are applied to the next plan year for tasks completed in the current plan year*.

As we face the COVID-19 national emergency together, the safety and well-being of our employees, their families, and their communities is our top priority. That’s why we encourage you to delay any non-essential care you may have coming up, like biometric screenings and annual wellness exams. It can help lower the risk of spreading COVID-19 to others, and ensure that healthcare resources are there for the patients who need them the most. Accordingly, we extended the wellness incentive program completion date to August 31st, 2020. Please also note there are several checklist activities that can be completed virtually and we encourage you to participate in those programs to promote your health and wellbeing during this stressful time.

Completing any two steps on your PCL will ensure that you have the lowest rate for your health insurance premiums. Retirees and graduate student employees enrolled in the Graduate Plan already receive the lower premium and do not need to participate. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield-Well onTarget Health Assessment (BCBS HA) and your annual wellness exam will still count as the alternative to using the MyEvive portal. The BCBS HA may not be paired with an activity other than the wellness exam for credit.

*Those who had not yet completed the HA and Wellness Exam to receive credit for FY20 can still complete these two tasks to receive their credit this fiscal year. You will then complete one more task to equal two tasks in the current plan year to continue receiving the credit in FY21.

The New Personalized Wellness Checklist

Completing two steps on your MyEvive Personalized checklist* will ensure that you have the lowest rate for your health insurance premium.

Your Personalized Wellness Checklist may contain up to 5 activities such as your annual wellness exam, preventive screenings, Well onTarget Self-Management Programs, MyEvive HealthQuests, health tool registrations and more. You only have to choose two to complete by June 30th to receive your wellness credit for FY21.

Highlights of the Wellness Incentive:

  • Complete two optional wellness activities between September 1 and June 30.
  • Applies to employees AND covered spouses enrolled in the A&M Care Plan.
  • A premium reduction of $30 per month will be applied for each individual (you and your spouse) who completes the wellness exam and second task by the June 30 deadline.
  • Retirees and Grad Plan enrollees will automatically receive the lower premium.

You can verify your completion status for the wellness premium incentive by logging into your MyEvive account through SSO at https://sso.tamus.edu/.

If you choose not to participate in the wellness premium incentive program, you will not receive the $30 premium reduction. Contact MyEvive member services if you believe you have completed any task, but the information is not reflected in your MyEvive account. (note: remember that it can take 6 to 8 weeks from the time of an appointment or exam for the claim to process and the incentive to show on your MyEvive account.

*The alternate health assessment available on Well onTarget through Blue Access for Members (BAM) can also count toward your wellness credit.