All About WellMASS!

Welcome!  I’m very happy to be making my first post on the Group Insurance Commission’s WellMASS pilot wellness program blog.  Please check back frequently for information on key dates and events, including the beginning and end of campaigns, challenges, and incentives;  frequently asked questions/concerns about the program; pictures and stories from agency challenges and events; success stories from participants;  and information on a variety of wellness topics.  

For those of you unfamiliar with the program, WellMASS  launched on March 1, 2012 with the goal of providing state employees and early retirees an opportunity to improve their health through several tools:  a Health Assessment; online resources; health coaching by phone, mail, or online; and Lunch ‘n Learn seminars and other on-site programming.  The Health Assessment and other online resources can be accessed at https://wellmass.staywell.com.

Since WellMASS launched, I have received several recurring questions from participants.  Below are some of these “Frequently Asked Questions,” and their answers:

Q.  Am I eligible for the WellMASS pilot wellness program?
A.  Currently,the online portion of the WellMASS Pilot Program is open to active state employees working in the Executive Branch, Constitutional Offices, and the Legislature, and early retirees between the ages of 55-64 and their spouses.  To be eligible, you must be enrolled in a GIC health plan.  Employees of authorities, municipalities, higher education, and the Judicial Trial Court system are not eligible for the program at this time.  Depending on the outcome of this pilot, and the availability of funding, we hope to extend the program next year.

Q.  If I am not currently eligible for the online portion of the program, can I still attend Lunch ‘n Learns?
A.  Yes!   All state employees are welcome and encouraged to attend the Lunch ‘n Learns and other onsite programming.  Lunch ‘n Learn Schedule.

Q.  I tried to register at wellmass.staywell.com and was told that my information was not recognized.  Why did this happen?
A.  There are several reasons why this may have occurred: 

1.  You are a contractor.  Contractors are currently not eligible for the online portion of WellMASS.
2.  You get your insurance as a dependent of someone else, who does not work for the state.  Employees must get their health insurance through the GIC in order to qualify.
3.  You are a state employee in one of the eligible agencies but you get your GIC coverage as a dependent of someone else.  You DO qualify if this is the case, but are not currently in the system.  In order to be able to access the website, you will need to email wellmass@state.ma.us with your name, agency, and home address.  We update the list of eligible employees on the second Tuesday of every month.
4.  You are a new employee.  If you just started, you will be added to the system the second Tuesday of the month after you are enrolled in your GIC health benefits.

Q.  I am concerned about entering personal information into the Health Assessment.  Is this information shared with the GIC, my health plan, or anyone else?
A.  NO!  The information you enter into your Health Assessment is confidential and will not be shared with anyone.  Neither the GIC nor your health plan will be able to see the information you entered or your HA results.  Your answers will not affect your premium or health insurance coverage. 

Q.  I do not have the biometric information requested on the last page of the Health Assessment.  What should I do?
A.  You have several options:  You can either save your HA and come back later, once you have obtained these results from your doctor’s office, or just enter your height and weight and hit “Submit.”  Height and weight are the only data needed to complete your HA; your results will not be as detailed without all of the requested biometric information, but you will still be able to submit your HA and receive personalized results.

If you have any other questions or concerns you would like answered in this blog, please email me at ashley.rasmussen@state.ma.us.  I also welcome and appreciate any other feedback about the blog or the WellMASS pilot wellness program.

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