Frequently asked questions

Everyone has questions.

Here are some questions that you might have about the Samaritan Choice Wellness Plan. Didn't see your question? Send us an email.

Health assessment

If you want to enroll in the new Samaritan Choice Wellness Plan during Open Enrollment, you will need to complete an online health assessment.

Q: What is a health assessment?

A: A health assessment is a valuable tool that provides you with personalized information about your health risks and strengths. When you complete the Vivacity (www.vivacity4me.com) Health Assessment online, you'll immediately receive your results. The report that you receive displays information about each of your health indicators, such as weight and blood pressure, and places them in the strength or risk area. Recommendations provide a personalized and prioritized list on why and how you should address your risks to improve your health.

Q: Where do I go to access the Health Assessment Questionnaire?
A: You can access the health assessment on the secure website within the Vivacity Health Portal. Follow the step-by-step instructions to complete the health assessment questionnaire.

Q: Why should I take the Health Assessment?
A: Taking the Health Assessment is like giving yourself an annual health checkup. The report will help you focus on the things that can have the biggest impact on your health. You'll also get suggestions on how to take action with online tools or other resources available to you.

Q: How long will the Health Assessment take?
A: Taking the Health Assessment is quick and easy — it only takes about 15 minutes to answer questions on your health and health habits using the secure, online tool provided by Vivacity. 

Q: What information is needed for the Health Assessment?
A: You will receive this information from your biometric screening: height, body weight, blood pressure, fasting triglyceride level, blood sugar level and Hemoglobin A1c. If you do not have this information available, you can estimate and we will update with the results of your biometric screening later.

Q: What kinds of questions does the health assessment ask? Can I see the questions now?
A: The assessment will ask questions related to health, lifestyle and safety. We will not be able to provide you with the questions beforehand as they are proprietary to Vivacity.

Q: I've taken the Health Assessment in the past. Why should I take it again?
A: Small changes in health habits can make a big difference in determining your health risk. When you take the Health Assessment over time, you'll see where you're doing better and areas that may need improvement. You'll see in quick and easy terms where you need to take action. Your updated results will also help you create a list of important things to talk to your doctor about — tests you may need or treatments you may want to consider, such as for high blood pressure.

Q: Can I make changes to my answers once I have completed the Heath Assessment?
A: You'll have the opportunity to verify and change your answers prior to submission. Once submitted, you won't be able to make changes.

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Biometric screening

If you want to enroll in the new Samaritan Choice Wellness Plan during Open Enrollment, you will need to complete a biometric screening.  

Q: Who is Summit Health?
A: Summit Health, Inc. is the nation’s leading provider of comprehensive wellness, health screening, and immunization programs. Over the last three years, Summit Health, Inc. has provided services to over 3 million people through 55,000 programs conducted across all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Q: Why should I participate in the screening?
A: Even healthy individuals have discovered areas of concern through a health screening. If your results do not indicate a problem, it verifies your lifestyle is working for you. By participating in the health screening you will be able to:
  • Find out what your ‘health indicators’ or ‘numbers’ are (blood pressure, glucose levels and Hemoglobin A1c)
  • Identify potential health risks
  • Receive an informational brochure with your personal results
  • Speak with an onsite counselor about your results
Q: Who is eligible to participate in the screening?
A: All employees and their Samaritan Choice Plans-covered spouses are eligible to participate in the health screenings. 

Q: How do I register for the screening?
A: To register for the health screening, sign up for an appointment by following the biometric screening instructions. Although walk-ins will be accepted, scheduled appointments will take priority.

Q: Does it cost me anything?
A: No. Samaritan Health Services is funding the cost of this program and your participation is free. This is part of our commitment to creating a healthier employee community.

Q: How long will the screening take? 
A: The screening will take approximately 15–20 minutes.

Q: What values will be measured during the screening?
A: The health screening includes measurements for cholesterol (HDL and TC/HDL ratio), glucose, blood pressure, Hemoglobin A1c and body composition.  Results will be reviewed during your screening appointment with a health professional. Cholesterol results will not be disclosed unlesss the member specifically asks for them.

Q: How will my cholesterol be checked?
A: The fingerstick method of blood draw is used to measure cholesterol. This is easy and fast.  The screener will “prick” your finger and place the blood sample into the Cholestech machine. Cholesterol results will not be disclosed unless the member specifically asks for them.

Q: Why aren't my total cholesterol numbers being reported?
A: HDL cholesterol is the good cholesterol and does not have as much variability regarding fasting and non fasting status. Due to the variability of total cholesterol in a fasting or non-fasting state, the decision to not share this data as an aggregate was made to reduce error. Cholesterol results will not be disclosed unless the member specifically asks for them.

Q: How do I prepare for the screening? 
A:
  • Wear loose clothing. Loose clothing or a short-sleeved shirt is necessary for the examiner to take your blood pressure measurement.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. 
  • Arrive 5 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to register and complete the Screening Consent Form.
  • Bring your employee ID badge if you are an employee. If you are a Samaritan Health Plans covered spouse participating in the screening, you will need to have your SCP insurance ID card. Please be prepared to show these upon arrival to your prescheduled screening appointment.

Q: Do I have to fast before the screening?
A: No, fasting is not required for this screening. Non-fasting tests are accurate for measuring your HDL cholesterol and blood glucose. If your test results are borderline or high, the staff at the screening will encourage you to see your physician for a comprehensive fasting blood test.

Q: If I am advised to seek immediate medical attention as a result of elevated values, will my medical expenses be covered by my insurance provider?
A: You will be responsible for all charges not covered by your health plan. The advice of the screening staff is a recommendation only and should not be treated as medical advice.

Q: Do I have to complete all of the screenings?
A: No. You are encouraged to complete all components, but you may choose to omit a component if necessary. Your results will be more accurate if your cholesterol and blood glucose levels are included, but this data is not required for valid results.

Q: Will my screening results be kept confidential?
A: Yes, all information is treated as confidential medical information. You allow Summit Health, a third party, to receive this information by signing the Screening Consent Form. Your personal results will not be shared with anyone at your company. Summit Health administers the screenings to ensure confidentiality and is held to strict privacy and security laws. 

Q: What if I don't agree with the Screening Consent Form?
A: You will need to sign a Screening Consent Form to participate in the screening. If you do not consent, you will not be allowed to participate. Summit Health is required by law to receive employee consent prior to obtaining confidential medical information.

Q: What is the "aggregated data/report"?
A: All personal identifying information (name, address, ID or insurance information) is stripped out of the data. Only the test results are shared in a data / report format. As an example it may show that out of 50 employees tested, 20 had total cholesterol levels higher than 250.

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Extra support programs

Q: I understand that the Wellness Plan’s health coaching, RN care coordination and Primary Care Home services have eligibility requirements. What are the eligibility requirements?
A: After employees have completed a health assessment questionnaire and biometric screening for Open Enrollment, we will look at our employee health data as a whole. Then, as an organization, we will set goals for improvement using last year's numbers to show our improvements and potential focus areas for our goals. Those goals will help determine the eligibility requirements. We will discuss with you Samaritan’s focus for improvement and report on the progress we make as a group.

Q: What happens if you ask me to participate in one of the Wellness Plan’s extra support programs? What happens if you ask someone from my family to participate?
A: We have received a number of questions about participation in these programs. Please review below.


PARTICIPATION IN WELLNESS PLAN'S EXTRA SUPPORT PROGRAMS

Q. Will I have goals that I have to meet?
 
A. No. The purpose of the health coaching, RN care coordination and Primary Care Home programs are to complement the medical advice of your health care provider.

Q. Will I have to leave my current doctor?
 
A. No. 

Q. What happens if I decide that I do not want to participate?
 
A. Not all employees or their family members will be asked to participate. If we ask you (Samaritan employee), and you choose not to participate, you and your family will be moved to the Basic Plan. If we ask one of your family members (not a Samaritan employee) to participate and they choose not to do so, you and your family will remain on the Wellness Plan.  

Q. Can I participate in these programs if I want to? Can my family?
 
A. No. We will ask you to participate if you meet eligibility requirements. Please see question above for more details on how these eligibility requirements will be determined. 

Q. Will I have to travel to participate in a program?
 
A. The health coaching and RN care coordination services are provided over the phone. You will be contacted at the phone number you provide on your health assessment questionnaire. Samaritan will designate Primary care home practices throughout Linn, Benton and Lincoln Counties. Depending upon where you are located, you may have to travel some for the Primary Care Home services.

Q.
How will you determine if my family members meet eligibility requirements? I understand that you will use the results from the employees’ health assessment questionnaires and biometric tests to help determine my eligibility for the extra support programs.
A. We pay the health insurance claims for medical services provided for you and your family. We will use data from those claims to determine eligibility for the extra support programs.

Q. Who will be providing the extra support program services? 
A.
Samaritan Choice Plans’ RNs and qualified health coaches will provide the health coaching services.  Samaritan Choice Plans’ RNs will provide the care coordination services. Samaritan Health Services’ health care providers located throughout Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties will provide the Primary Care Home services.


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Enrollment / premiums

Q: What steps do I need to take to become enrolled in the 2014 Samaritan Choice Wellness Plan? If I choose the Basic Plan or the High-Deductible, do I take different steps?
A: There are enrollment requirements for the Wellness Plan. Please contact HR with questions regarding the other health plan options.

Q: What are the premiums?
A: Premium information will be available during open enrollment and benefit fairs. 

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Confidentiality

Q: What type of data will my organization see when I complete the health self-assessment questionnaire and the biometric screening? Is it really private and confidential?
A:The online health self-assessment and onsite biometric screening will be managed by Vivacity (www.vivacity.net), one of the most trusted names in health care. No personally identifiable information will be shared with Samaritan Health Services as your employer. Remember, it’s against the law for your employer to access your personal health information. Your personal health information will be handled by your health plan, Samaritan Choice.

Samaritan Health Services will receive only combined statistics stripped of any identifying information. This group data from Vivacity will help Samaritan evaluate current health programs and look for new ways to enhance our wellness benefits in future years. As promised by Dr. Mullins, Samaritan’s President and CEO, you will be able to view our group results so you are aware of the progress we make as an organization toward becoming a healthier workforce.

Q: How is my data stored and protected?
A: Vivacity, the vendor Samaritan has selected to conduct the biometric screenings and provide the online health assessment questionnaire, uses a secure website platform for the health assessment and stores the biometric screening data in compliance with all current federal regulations for privacy, security, and electronic data interchange (EDI), including but not limited to HIPAA, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), as well as all state requirements that give additional protection to sensitive protected health information (PHI).

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Last modified: Jan. 10, 2014