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Larry MacIntyre
Office of University Communications

Last modified: Monday, October 25, 2010

IU cancels a portion of its Health Engagement Program

Oct. 25, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University today announced to its 17,000 full-time employees that they will not be asked to fill out an online Health Risk Assessment questionnaire as a step to qualifying for a reduction in their health insurance premium in 2011.


Photo by Michael Connors

The announcement was made by Dan Rives, associate vice president for human resources.

"The decision to cancel this component of the Health Engagement Program was made in response to concerns raised by employees about privacy and relevancy of some of the information being collected," Rives said. "Although the assessment was intended to help employees better manage their personal health, it was felt that the university should not implement it without the acceptance and understanding of its employees."

Rives said data collected from employees who have already filled out the online questionnaire will be destroyed in a manner that will ensure privacy.

All participants in IU medical plans will automatically receive the premium reduction for 2011 that was to be granted for completing the questionnaire.

The two other components of the Health Engagement Program that are also being offered to reduce health insurance premiums have not changed:

  • Tobacco-free Affidavit: for employees and spouses/domestic partners who certify that he or she does not use tobacco products; alternatively, the member can enroll in the Quit For Life Program for tobacco cessation counseling. These affidavits must be completed by Nov. 12.
  • Biometric Screening to help the employee or spouse assess the risk of diabetes, heart attack, stroke, hypertension, kidney disease, and hardening of the arteries. These screening tests must be completed by Feb. 28.

The Health Engagement Program is one of several initiatives implemented by IU President Michael A. McRobbie on all eight IU campuses as part of an overall strategy to control the growth of employee health care costs, which in recent years have been rising at an annual rate of 8 to 12 percent. Participation in the incentive-based plan is entirely voluntary.

Rives said a review will be conducted early next year to see if an alternative method to the risk assessment can be developed that will help employees achieve their health goals.