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December 10, 2019

Verizon Benefits Update
Updated On: Feb 04, 2013

Regarding the smoking cessation program, several Locals have indicated members were unable to sign up and complete the program in time to receive the $600 non-tobacco user credit for their 2013 health care coverage.  Below you will find additional information regarding both of these issues.   

Non-Tobacco User Credit

Members are eligible for a $600 non-tobacco user credit when they enroll in their medical coverage.  To qualify for the credit, you must either be a non-tobacco user or have completed a smoking cessation course in the last 6 months.

Default Correction

Some members may have been confused by the enrollment message that if you don’t take action you will receive the same coverage for 2013.  In this event, members would be defaulted to a tobacco user status and would pay an additional $50.00 per month healthcare contribution.  For members that do not take action and default as a tobacco user, a process is in place that allows for these participants to call the Verizon Benefit Center at 1-855-489-2367   (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday) through 1/31/2013 and a representative can take the change.  A retroactive refund would then be sent on the next payroll file.

Smoking Cessation Programs

Members must complete a smoking cessation program during the last six months rather than just signing-up for a program in order to receive the non-tobacco user credit.  The program is designed to reward non-tobacco users and participants who have made a serious effort to quit tobacco, whether successful or not, by completing an organized quit program such as the Verizon QuitNet program. 

Other organized programs can be found online or in our member’s local community.  Examples would be:

·         The American Lung Association online program Freedom from Smoking

·         Local hospitals may offer programs.  As an example, in NJ the Somerset Medical Center offers a five week Smoking Cessation Group Tuesday’s at 8PM.

·         Local YMCA or adult education program.

Verizon offers two organized programs:

·         Quitnet – members can call Quitnet at 877-292-1363 to register.  Once registered, participants can access the online content at www.quitnet.com/verizon.  The program includes free nicotine replacement therapies (such as the patch, gum or lozenges) if appropriate.  This program takes approximately 4-6 weeks to complete.

·         Verizon HealthZone – members can access the Verizon HealthZone through WellConnect which is found at www.verizon.com/benefitsconnection or through About You.  The Verizon HealthZone (powered by WebMD) is also the site where a member can complete the Health Assessment.  The online smoking cessation program can be found by logging into the Verizon HealthZone, at the top of the page choose Health Living>Smoking Cessation>Enroll in Full Program.  This program can be completed in approximately 4 hours. 

Link (https://www.webmdhealth.com/Lifestyle/Planners/Default.aspx

Members will need to register to use WebMD and allow access for providers, etc.

Once enrolled in the FULL program, there are 10 sections, each comprised of 7 steps.  There are 'quizzes' after each section determining the members’ understanding of the section.  Once they have completed the 10 sections there is a review section and then they have completed the program and are able to print out a completion certificate.

Once they have completed the program, they are immediately able to go back into the benefits enrollment and 'modify' the health plan section. They will need to go through the personal information & dependent’s sections again, even though the information remains the same as before.

Once they are in the Health & Insurance Summary (Step 3) they need to click on 'modify' in the Medical section to view coverage and plan information.  Under the Medical Tobacco User Status and Credit section, they would select the option stating Yes (used tobacco products within the last 6 months) And have completed a tobacco cessation course with in the last 6 months.  This will provide the $600.00 Annual Credit Amount.  I have attached a screen shot of this entry.  Once the member completes modifying the medical they should finish steps 4) Beneficiaries and 5) Review and Submit Enrollment.
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