Campus News

August 22, 2011

Take Note

University employees to see insurance surcharge for tobacco use in 2012

Starting Jan. 1, 2012, Emory University will implement a $50 per person monthly surcharge on medical contributions for faculty and staff and their covered spouses/same sex domestic partners (SSDPs) who use tobacco products.  The proceeds of this surcharge will support cessation services and programs for the University's faculty and staff who use tobacco products.

"Implementing the tobacco surcharge is one more step in furthering Emory's commitment to addressing the serious health impact of tobacco use," says Vice President for Human Resources Peter Barnes.

Beginning this fall, all faculty and staff covered under Emory's medical plan will have to certify annually during the Benefits Annual Enrollment period whether or not they and their spouse/SSDP use tobacco. The $50 per person monthly surcharge can be avoided if they certify that they and their spouse/SSDP:

• Have not used tobacco for the past 60 days; or

• Are enrolled in an Emory-approved tobacco cessation program; or

• Are currently being treated by a physician for a medical condition (e.g. nicotine addiction). If this is the case, a "Tobacco Cessation Physician Affidavit Form" must be completed and returned to the Benefits Department by Dec. 31 for the surcharge to be waived.

It is important to note that the surcharge is applied per person; if both an employee and their spouse/SSDP use tobacco, the surcharge will be $100 per month.  All faculty and staff who are enrolled in the medical plan must complete the certification during Annual Enrollment; those who don't will have the surcharge automatically applied to them and to their spouse/SSDP effective Jan. 1, 2012 for the entire calendar year.  The surcharge will not apply to dependent children. 

This surcharge is consistent with Emory's overall vision of becoming a tobacco-free institution.  The University offers an array of tobacco cessation programs and Emory's Tier Zero tobacco cessation prescription medications are available for those who wish to take advantage of them.

 Last spring, the University Senate endorsed a campaign that will transition Emory's campus to a tobacco-free property by Jan. 1, 2012.  Emory Healthcare implemented a similar tobacco surcharge for its employees and their spouses/SSDPs effective Jan. 1, 2011. 

For more information:

Tobacco Surcharge Frequently Asked Questions

Tobacco-Free Emory Web site

Tobacco Cessation Resources

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