Wellness Program

The New School provides employees with a variety of resources to help them stay healthy and make healthful choices. The Wellness Program is designed to give employees fresh motivation and support for incorporating healthful behaviors into their lives or maintaining current healthful behaviors. We hope this initiative will reduce work time lost to illness and lessen the increasing financial burden of our health insurance. We understand that this won’t happen overnight. The program will unfold in three phases over the next few years. Each year, we will give the same or similar rewards to all employees who complete the requested tasks. In this first year, you can earn a $250 reward and a chance to win an iPad!

Phase 1: Getting Started

The first steps toward a more healthful life are identifying and understanding your personal health risk factors and establish some health goals. We expect phase 1 to last for the next three years.

Do two simple things:

1. Get a preventive care/wellness examination. [+]

Visit your primary care physician or family practitioner for routine wellness services (including biometric screenings such as blood pressure, cholesterol, height, and weight). Make sure your provider codes the claim correctly as a preventive care/wellness exam and submits the claim for this visit through your New School medical carrier, United Healthcare (UHC).

UHC will notify Human Resources that have you had a preventive care exam. UHC will not share any other information about the exam, which your doctor must keep confidential.


Under our UHC policy, preventive care/wellness services are free when you visit an in-network physician. There is no copay.

2. Complete a confidential online Health Risk Assessment (HRA). [+]

Log in to your United Healthcare account at www.myuhc.com. (Set up your UHC account if you haven’t done so.) Read and follow the HRA instructions in the Health Assessment Flyer (PDF). The HRA is a personalized, strictly confidential self-assessment of your health and lifestyle. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. You will receive immediate feedback from UHC in the form of recommended steps for your personal health improvement. UHC will also notify Human Resources that you completed the HRA. UHC is legally prohibited from sharing your responses or results with the New School. This information will remain confidential.

Complete these two tasks by March 31, 2014, and your reward will be $250 in your paycheck and a chance to win an iPad.

Participation is voluntary. Your personal health information is confidential and will never be shared with The New School. There is no consequence for not participating. If you have already had a wellness exam ("physical") and/or have taken the UHC HRA at any time since January 1, 2013, UHC will notify Human Resources and you will have qualified for the reward.

It’s that simple. We will probably ask you to repeat these same two tasks next year and the year after that before we enter phase 2 of the Wellness Program.

Phases 2 and 3

Phase 2 will focus on healthful actions, such as completing a health improvement program, joining a weight management program, or getting a preventive screening. Phase 3 will be outcome-based: You may be asked to achieve or maintain a specific health outcome determined by your personal risk factors, such as improved body mass index or lower cholesterol count. Participation will be voluntary.

Contact Denise Radicone, director of Benefits, by email or at 212.229.5671 x4937 if you have any questions.

Qualifications and Disclaimers [+]

  • The Wellness Program is offered to full-time faculty and staff who are enrolled in a New School medical plan through United Healthcare.
  • Only employees can receive the reward (dependents are not currently eligible), although we encourage enrolled dependents to complete the phase 1 tasks on their own.
  • For the purpose of this program, preventive care is defined as medical services only (excluding dental, vision, or prescription drugs).
  • Preventive services submitted through a spouse’s or partner’s plan or in a way other than through your New School medical plan with United Healthcare (UHC) will not qualify you for the reward.
  • If your physician does not submit the claim for your visit to UHC as a “preventive care service” (with the appropriate procedure codes), your visit will not qualify you for the reward. Make sure your doctor’s staff submits a properly coded bill.
  • You must complete the Health Risk Assessment in its entirety. Partial completion will not qualify you for the reward.
  • You must complete both tasks by the March 31 deadline. Partial rewards for completing just one task will not be given.
  • The $250 reward is taxable income, but it will not be considered part of your salary for retirement plan contributions.
  • You must be an employee at the time the reward is paid.
  • The initial reward payments will be distributed to employees’ paychecks in April 2014. However, Human Resources will continue to track and pay the $250 as preventive care service claims and HRAs are processed by UHC. For example, if you have your preventive care exam on March 20 and your doctor does not submit a claim to UHC until May 5, we will still honor your completion of the task and reward you in a subsequent paycheck.
  • Eligible employees who successfully complete the two tasks will be entered into a lottery to win an iPad. The date of the drawing will be announced soon.
  • On the basis of your HRA score, an automated online health coach from UHC may recommend a health improvement program and other steps to help you achieve your personal health goals. You are not required to take the recommended next steps and no one will track your participation, but please consider doing so. This is for your benefit.
  • United Healthcare created the HRA, but the data is maintained by a third party, the University of Michigan. Individual responses or results are never shared with UHC or The New School. No party will use HRA information for solicitation purposes. You can find information about the University of Michigan’s health assessment background and security at the bottom of the Take Health Assessment page when you log in to myuhc.com.
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