Wellness Benefits and Opportunities

Welcome to Missouri State University Wellness Incentive Program

It is again time for the annual Wellness  Incentive Program that determines what you will be charged for health insurance premiums for 2015. The University supports the culture of employee wellness based upon healthy lifestyle choices and offers all employees the opportunity to take advantage of the annual wellness initiatives offered through Taylor Health and Wellness Center and Campus Recreation.  Our objective for the wellness program is to not only improve health but also reduce health related costs.   As in the past, full-time employees electing to be covered under the University's medical insurance plan will continue to contribute a portion of the cost for their individual coverage.  (The amount of the contribution is established annually.) Even though rising health care costs are an issue, we are pleased to report that there is no change in your premium contribution of $30 per month.  Also, as in previous years, MSU is offering an opportunity through participation in wellness activities to offset the $30 per month.


We are continuing our wellness efforts and are pleased to announce a new flexible, individualized approach based on your self-identified needs.  We continue to build on the successful benefits and participation we have seen since the Wellness Program was officially established in 2006.

History of Wellness Program

In 2007, the Board of Governors voted to have employees pay a portion of their health insurance, i.e., $30/month. This could be waived by participation in wellness activities.

For the past three years, the employee portion of the premium could be waived by obtaining biometrics (lipid profile and blood glucose level). Obtaining biometrics or a statement from your physician allowed access to the Health Risk Assessment (HRA). Completion of the HRA with your biometrics information resulted in defraying $20/month of your $30 monthly employee premium. In addition, embedded within the HRA was a question pertaining to tobacco use. Those who did not smoke or who smoked but participated in a tobacco cessation program had the remaining $10 defrayed.

Vision for the Future

While this approach has proven successful, the Wellness Committee, in conjunction with the Health Care Plans Review Committee, proposed a modified approach for calendar year (CY) 2015 that will continue to support a wellness culture. This approach is also supported by Faculty and Staff Senate and the University’s on-site clinics.

Our vision for the 2015 program will:

  • Decrease costs to the health plan
  • Improve health and manage chronic disease
  • Encourage employees to choose those wellness activities that matter to them
  • Increase satisfaction and improve morale due to the flexibility

For the remainder of 2014 to help convey information, we will use the existing HRA. The HRA is the same tool as previously used but with some minor changes. Some of the new questions/sections on the HRA are designed to raise your level of awareness on pertinent information and provide options for you to consider for planning your wellness activities to meet your needs.


As in the past we will continue to use the Health Risk Assessment (HRA) as the cornerstone for building your personal wellness strategy. You will need to access the HRA in order to receive any savings. Your portion of the premium will remain $30/month. The HRA tool will include a variety of questions pertaining to wellness activities, such as those related to self-assessment, self-improvement and managing chronic disease conditions.  

In 2014, embedded within the HRA is an education component designed to raise your awareness of important points that impact you and help you plan wellness activities for the following year. Questions are designed to raise your level of awareness and your answers will be on the honor system - no supplemental documentation will be required.

If you simply complete the HRA and are a non-tobacco user you will realize a savings of $30/month and have your full premium defrayed.

In 2015, as we continue to expand the program, you will need to choose various wellness activities that meet your needs.


Biometrics required every three years

Beginning this Fall, 2014, the University will change the need for biometrics (or physician statement) from yearly to every three years. Because you already have the results of one or more years of biometric testing you should already be aware of your current health assessment. Thus, biometrics (or physician statement) is not required this year. Of course, those who choose to get biometric information at no cost at Taylor Health and Wellness Center once every year may still do so. The viability of our health plan depends upon you continuing a wellness program for yourself and your family.

Spouses can get a free biometric screening

As an added benefit, the University is responding to the need to include spouses or sponsored dependents (under the health plan) by offering “free” biometric screenings. Spouses or sponsored dependents having biometric testing will not incur additional savings nor have access to the HRA at this time.

To summarize briefly, this Fall, 2014, to realize savings you will need to:

  • Complete the HRA (If you use tobacco, to realize a $10/month savings, you will need to quit or attend a tobacco cessation class by the end of this year).
  • Begin planning wellness activities for calendar year 2015.


Beginning with January 2015, you will need to take ACTION! You will need to complete the wellness activities that you plan on pursuing in order to meet your own individual health goals. 

Next year, 2015, you will choose up to two wellness activities from any of the categories below ranging from self-assessment, self-improvement and chronic disease management as outlined below. “Free” biometrics will continue to be offered as a self-assessment activity. To realize any savings, you must continue to access the HRA and respond to the tobacco use question(s). 

Self-Assessment Activities

  • Obtain new biometrics
  • Complete a wellness exam with a physician, physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner
  • Obtain a hearing assessment (once every three years; the  hearing assessment can be obtained from MSU’s Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic)
  • Obtain a dental exam
  • Obtain a vision exam
  • Obtain a fitness assessment (this service is offered through Foster Recreation Center as well as the kinesiology department on campus)
  • Obtain a flexibility and range of motion assessment (this service is offered through the physical therapy department on campus)

Self-Improvement Activities

  • Participate in an MSU employee wellness sponsored program, e.g. “Successfully Navigating the Health Care Maze,” Walking Challenge, Healthy Eating, Healthy Cooking, Mindfulness and Meditation or any health forums, CORE Financial Wellness program
  • Participate regularly in a physically active sport, fitness event(s) or continuing physical activity (e.g., Bearfit class, 5K, Zumba, yoga, running, cycling, jazzercise, Crossfit) within the past year

Chronic Disease Management Activities

  • Participate in Weight Watchers® Program
  • Participate in the MSU employee wellness sponsored Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP®)
  • Participate in the MSU employee wellness sponsored Diabetic Education Program or meet with a registered dietitian
  • Participate in a multi-visit dietitian-led nutrition counseling

NOTE: Other equivalent activities in each of the above categories may be included in the future.

In summary, this personalized approach emphasizes individual choice and personal accountability while still retaining the common touchstone of the Health Risk Assessment (HRA). 

*If you simply complete the HRA and are a non-tobacco user you will realize a savings of $30/month and have your full premium defrayed. If you use tobacco, you will need to complete a tobacco cessation program for the full $30 premium savings.







President Smart and Vice President McClure completing forms

President Smart having blood drawn

Vice President Ken McClure having blood drawn

Provost Einhellig having blood drawn

Vice President Doman displays his certificate