For immediate release:
January 18, 2016

Eric Shirk

Hogan Administration Announces Changes to State Wellness Plan

New Plan Addresses Employee Concerns, Increases Access, and Waives Fees

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland Department of Budget and Management Secretary David Brinkley today announced changes to the wellness plan under the State Employee and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefits Program, a plan designed to make healthcare more affordable for state employees while improving overall health. The changes to this plan will reward those employees who have already completed the 2015 healthy activities and give those who have not yet completed the activities a second chance to do so in 2016. Surcharges will also be waived through 2017.

“These changes to the Wellness Plan address the concerns of state employees and will help many more take advantage of the program,” Secretary Brinkley said. “We are happy to announce these changes in an effort to improve customer service, improve the health of our workers, and provide savings.”

Employees who completed requirements by the Dec. 31, 2015 deadline will see their primary care physician copays waived through the end of 2016 and will not be required to complete requirements again in 2016. Employees who did not complete requirements by the end of last year will begin seeing their primary care physician copays waived as soon as they complete the activities.

State employees who did not complete the requirements by the December 31, 2015 deadline must take the following steps to take advantage of the program in 2016:

–Select a Primary Care Physician,
-Complete a health risk assessment online, and
-Obtain his/her physician’s signature on a physician notification form showing that the physician saw the results of the risk assessment.

Additionally, employees now have a choice of health risk assessments – the state’s Health Risk Assessment (available online), or an assessment from an employee’s own medical plan.

Evidence shows that an employer-sponsored wellness program reduces escalating healthcare costs and improves the health, well-being, and overall quality of life for participants. The State of Maryland’s Wellness Plan is designed to increase self-awareness and help state employees better understand their current health status by providing examples on how to stay healthy or become healthier. It also provides information on the benefits to becoming a more informed medical consumer.

Get Healthy in 2016 with the State of Maryland Employee Wellness Plan – visit the State of Maryland Wellness Website for wellness program information, health tips, to access the State’s Health Risk Assessment, and much more!