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 Samaritan Choice Wellness Plan during Open Enrollment, you will need to complete an online health assessment as one of the enrollment requirements.

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 Health Assessment, 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 for you. 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. Employees will also have direct access to the Everyday Choices program.

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 about your health and health habits using the secure, online tool provided by Vivacity. 

Q: What information is needed for the health assessment?
A: The health information required for your health assessment includes: height, body weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar level. If you do not have this information available, you can estimate your numbers and we will update the health assessment with the results of your later scheduled biometric screening. Other items you may need to fill into the questionnaire are your estimated dates of preventive services received such as: flu shot, annual exam, screenings (mammogram, colonoscopy, pap), etc. If you have those dates available to you, be sure to have them ready for your health assessment.

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. In quick and easy terms, you will have an idea of 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 health assessment?
A: You can take the health assessment as many times as you would like throughout the year.  If you have made behavior changes, recently received new lab values or completed preventive screenings, you may want to update that information and see how it impacts your score and recommendations.

Q: How do I use the Vivacity portal after open enrollment?
A: The Vivacity portal has a wealth of tools and resources that can be used throughout the year.  Log on at any time to track your health and activity, update your health assessment, read health content or use one of our custom links to Everyday Choices.

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Biometric screening

If you want to enroll in the Samaritan Choice Wellness Plan during Open Enrollment, you will also 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 biometric screening?
A: Even healthy individuals have discovered areas of concern through a biometric screening. If your results do not indicate a problem, it verifies that a chosen lifestyle is working. By participating in the biometric screening, you will be able to:
  • Find out what your health indicators or "numbers" are (blood pressure and glucose levels)
  • Identify potential health risks
  • Receive an informational brochure with your personal results
Q: Who is eligible to participate in the screening?
A: All employees and their Samaritan Choice Plans-covered spouses and domestic partners are eligible to participate in the biometric screenings. 

Q: Is my spouse / domestic partner required to do the biometric screening?
A: To qualify for the lowest premiums possible, your covered spouse / domestic partner MUST participate in the biometric screenings.

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

Q: Does it cost me or my spouse / domestic partner 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 community.

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

Q: What values will be measured during the biometric screening?
A: The biometric screening includes measurements for cholesterol (HDL and TC/HDL ratio), glucose, blood pressure and body composition.  Results will be reviewed during your screening appointment with a health professional. Cholesterol results will not be disclosed unless 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.
  • Please be prepared to show the following upon arrival to your screening appointment:
    • Employees bring your employee ID badge
    • Spouse / domestic partners bring your Samaritan Choice Plans insurance ID card

Q: Do I have to fast before the biometric 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 interpreted as medical advice.

Q: Do all of the components of the biometric screening need to be completed?
A: No. You are encouraged to complete all components (cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and body composition), but you may choose to omit a component when truly necessary. 

Q: Will 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.

Q: If my spouse / domestic partner or I have already had recent preventive lab work done, will we still be required to participate in the biometric screening?
A: If you and your spouse / domestic partner would like to receive the lowest premiums on the Wellness Plan option, you must participate in the biometric screenings through Summit Health, Inc. To ensure consistent data, Samaritan Choice Plans will not accept lab results done by any other source or provider.

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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 the previous 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 assessments and biometric screenings 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 2015 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 you and your covered spouse / domestic partner to be able to enroll on the Wellness Plan with the lowest premiums. Please contact Human Resources 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 assessment and the biometric screening? Is it really private and confidential?
A: The online health 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, 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: July 29, 2014
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