Wellness Initiatives: Tobacco Free in 2017 but Paying a 25 Percent Surcharge on Your Health Insurance?
If you and your spouse were tobacco free in 2017, but you forgot to attest to your tobacco-use status during Open Enrollment last fall, you probably noticed a larger-than-expected deduction for your health insurance costs on a recent ePaystub. Why? A 25 percent tobacco-user surcharge was deducted because you did not attest during Open Enrollment. If you and your spouse are still tobacco free, you can attest now to have the surcharge removed.
As stated in the 2018 Employee Benefit Summary, you may have the surcharge removed after
- If you did not attest during Open Enrollment but both you and your spouse were tobacco free throughout the previous calendar year, OR
- If you and your spouse have been tobacco free for 12 consecutive months outside of Open Enrollment.
To attest, visit the Employee Self-Service web page and click on the Tobacco attestation link under the blue My Benefits banner.
- Log in using your Outlook username and password.
- Answer the question about your and your spouse’s tobacco use.
- Click Submit.
That’s all there is to it.
To avoid the 25 percent surcharge in the future—
- you and your covered spouse must be tobacco free for the 12 months prior to January 1 of each year, AND
- you must attest each year during Employee Benefits Open Enrollment that you and your covered spouse will be tobacco free throughout the calendar year specified in the online attestation question.
Negotiated agreements between the Board of Education and the three employee associations require employees participating in the MCPS benefits plan to attest to their and their spouse’s tobacco-use status each fall during Employee Benefits Open Enrollment. MCPS adds a 25 percent surcharge to employees’ total health insurance costs if they or their covered spouses smoke or use other forms of tobacco. The surcharge also is imposed if a covered employee does not attest during Open Enrollment.