September 19, 2017

Human Resources shares information on waiver of tobacco-user additional premium for 2018

Human Resources reminds employees the time is approaching to complete an approved tobacco-cessation program in order to receive a full waiver of the tobacco-user additional premium. Waivers are for individuals who have declared as a tobacco user, but have completed a course and have not yet been tobacco free for 12 months. Non-tobacco users will self-certify during open enrollment.

Purdue employees currently can use the Indiana Tobacco Quitline as an approved tobacco-cessation program. The Center for Healthy Living on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus will have additional resources available next month.

Aside from the health benefits resulting from not smoking, there are also financial benefits, including a waiver of the tobacco-user additional premium on an employee’s benefits premium. As a reminder, employees who certify themselves and/or their spouses as tobacco users (a person who has used tobacco, including cigars, cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco or any other tobacco product in the past 12 months) during open enrollment each year will pay an additional $500-$1,000 tobacco-user premium on their medical benefits.

In addition to the added tobacco-user premium on the medical plan, those who have used tobacco in the last 12 months will see a higher premium on additional employee term life elections through Minnesota Life as well as critical illness and universal life insurance elections for 2018.

Employees and covered spouses (if applicable) must complete an approved cessation program and submit a letter or certificate of completion by Dec. 15 to earn a full waiver of the 2018 additional premium on their medical plan and lower the rates on their employee term life, critical illness and universal life elections, if applicable (as well as a waiver for the remainder of 2017). This deadline is different from years past.

Employees have the option of completing an approved tobacco-cessation program at any time to receive partial waivers for the additional premium and tobacco user rates. Premiums will be reduced to reflect the non-tobacco user rate for the payroll period following the submission of a completion letter or certificate to Human Resources upon the completion of the program. 

When employees become tobacco-free for 12 months, they may complete the Tobacco User Certification Form and return it to Human Resources for a waiver of the additional medical premium and to lower the additional employee term life, critical illness and universal life rates. Changes to the additional medical premium and tobacco-user rates will take place for the remainder of the calendar year after allowing appropriate time for processing of the form.

Indiana Tobacco Quitline

The Indiana Tobacco Quitline is available seven days a week. This program is provided by the state Department of Health, and it is available to all residents of Indiana. If you call from a number outside of Indiana, you will be connected to a Quitline for that location. Special notice: This program can be completed only once per year.

* Available to employees and spouses at all campuses.

* To receive credit for this approved tobacco cessation program you must:

-- Register: Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to start the program. A Quitline intake specialist will get your demographic information and register you in the program. You will then be transferred to a quit coach for your initial coaching call or you will be scheduled for an outbound call from the quit coach at a later date.

-- Calls: Quit coach calls include assessment of status, review of stage of readiness to change, action items appropriate to status, discussion of triggers and barriers, setting a quit date and information/resources. During a coaching call, the quit coach schedules the time frame for your next call. Should you miss a scheduled call, you can call in yourself to reach a quit coach.

-- Timing: You will receive four calls with your quit coach. Generally, most people complete their four calls in six to 12 weeks. You may take longer than 12 weeks if needed, but you must not complete the four quit coach calls in shorter than six weeks.

-- Submit your letter of completion: During your fourth call with your quit coach, you must request a “Letter of Completion.” Once you receive that in the mail, you will submit this letter to Human Resources as evidence of completion:

ATTN: Rhonda Greear

Campus mail:
HR - Benefits, KPTC

U.S. mail:
Purdue HR Benefits
1281 Win Hentschel Blvd Suite 1100
West Lafayette, IN 47906

In-person drop-off:  Stewart Center, Room G66 8 5 p.m. ET Tuesday- Friday

More information

For more information about the additional premium, visit the tobacco-user additional premium frequently asked questions page.

For tobacco cessation options specific to regional campuses, please visit their respective websites:

* Purdue University Northwest
* Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne

Anyone with questions about the waivers and resources available may contact Human Resources at 765-494-2222 or or the regional campus Human Resources departments. 

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