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May 2, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

Healthy U participation deadline May 31

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Tick-tock...time is running out for Slippery Rock University employees to save money by participating in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education's "Healthy U" program operated in conjunction with Highmark Blue Shield. The deadline for completing the online registration and program is May 31.

The Healthy U program is available to all employees covered under the PASSHE Group Health Plan, covering faculty, coaches, managers, police and nurses, who elect coverage through the Highmark PPO Blue plan.

"Those who fail to complete the annual Healthy U online program stand to lose a substantial amount of money in the coming year as their healthcare premium increases," said Marcia Kotek, benefits and transactions manager in SRU's Office of Human Resources.

"This is something that has to be done annually, and those with a spouse or same sex domestic partner, must be sure that they too complete the program by the deadline," she said.

"Right now we have about 75 percent of those eligible employees at SRU who have not yet completed their registration. It is too late to get involved in some portions of the program to earn Healthy U points, such as the yoga, tai-chi, zumba or cycling classes offered on campus, but there are still ways to earn the required 70 points. By taking the required online 'Wellness Profile' participants immediately earn 30 points toward the goal. An annual physical exam, a flu shot, a dentist or eye doctor visit, or an exercise or weight loss program can be submitted to earn points toward their target. It really is not that hard," she said.

"By electing not to participate, or simply by neglecting to complete the program in a timely manner, it could cost an employee up to an additional $1,900 annually in premiums," Kotek said.

SRU's overall participation rate in most recent years has remained near the 90 percent mark.

"In reality, the program gives 'credit' for making healthy choices and getting preventative care; good practices that people are already incorporating into their lives," Kotek said.

The on-line program is accessed through the Highmark Blue Shield website that links to the Healthy U WebMD platform. The program includes new, updated features, new programs and new wellness resources. The services are designed to assist participants to reach program goals, and improve overall personal wellness, she said.

Those who don't participate by the deadline will see increased healthcare premiums deducted from their paychecks beginning in July.

The registration process can be completed by logging onto Highmark's website at: . An ID logon and password are required and do not change from year to year. Those who have forgotten their ID login information or password information may obtain the information by clicking the "Forgot Login" or "Forgot Password" buttons or by calling Highmark Technical Support at 1.877.298.3918.

Once on the website, participants should click the "Access Healthy U" tab to get started.

Information about all of the opportunities available to participate in wellness programs and activities and how to earn additional points is available from the Healthy U section of the PASSHE website: .

Additional information is also available from Highmark Member Services at 1.866.727.4935.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.