Health Rewards Money: Use It or Lose It

Be Aware Money Will Not Roll Over to Next Year

If you’re covered by the State Employee Health Benefit and have earned Health Rewards money this year, you’ll want to be sure to use that money before the year ends. Unlike 2014, when upwards of $300 in earned Health Rewards money was available to roll over to 2015, this will not be the case this year. If there’s a Health Rewards or HAT balance remaining on your ASI Flex card, it must be used by the end of this year or you will lose it.

Refresh my memory, how does the Health Rewards Program work in 2015? Anthem’s Health Rewards Program starts with the Health Assessment Tool (or HAT), which earns you $200 on your ASI Flex debit card. Once you’ve completed the HAT, you can complete up to three of six Health Rewards activities, which will each earn you $100 on your ASI Flex debit card.

These Health Rewards activities range from flu shots and annual physicals to being tobacco free and knowing your numbers. In 2015, Health Rewards money can be used to pay medical and prescription co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance (POS plan only), as well as eyewear and eye exam expenses. It is important to note that any health rewards activities you complete prior to January 2016, will result in dollars put on your ASI Flex debit card, which you will then need to use or lose by January 1, 2016.

What’s changing next year, and how does it affect me? Starting in 2016, Health Rewards money will be placed on Visa gift cards, as opposed to the current ASI debit card. The ASI debit card won’t be going away, however: the $200 earned by completing the HAT will still be placed on that card, along with any Flexible Spending Account money.

The change to the debit cards for Health Rewards money is a great benefit for state employees that was negotiated into the new Executive Branch contract. The Visa debit cards don’t expire, and unlike the ASI debit cards, you can use the Visa debit cards for anything.

So, the change to Visa gift cards is a good one? Yes, the new cards don’t expire and can be used for anything, not just the health-related expenses listed above.

Do you have health benefit questions? Send them to Chris Porter at cporter@seiu1984.org and put “Ask Chris” in the subject line. Chris is our Compensation and Benefit Research Specialist who will advocate for members experiencing challenges with their contracted medical benefits. We’ll post answers to commonly posed questions in this column.

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