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91 percent of state workers choose Healthy Tomorrows; won’t face additional deductible

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91 percent of state workers choose Healthy Tomorrows; won’t face additional deductible
By Jeff Jenkins

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A large majority of state workers won’t be charged an additional $500 deductible beginning July 1 because they’ve decided to take part in the Healthy Tomorrows initiative.

State Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) spokesperson Diane Holley-Brown said 91 percent or 71,945 active and non-Medicare retirees met the program’s first-year requirement of naming a primary care physician.

“This first year’s goal was to get policyholders in a relationship with a primary care physician. Obviously, they took this initiative to heart because we have an excellent response rate,” Holley-Brown said.

The second year of Healthy Tomorrows will require the participant to actually have their numbers when it comes to high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol, while the third year requires getting those numbers to an acceptable healthy range.

“There’s a lot of preventable diseases related to lifestyle choices like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, so this is a way to get our members healthier,” Holley-Brown said.

Seven-thousand state workers decided not to list a primary care physician so they will face an additional $500 deductible beginning July 1. Holley-Brown said she’s glad 9 out of every 10 state workers have made the decision to get healthier.

“We’re hoping the high rate was because they wanted to become healthier but I’m sure the penalty was an incentive as well,” Holley-Brown said.

The goal of Healthy Tomorrows is for workers to know their numbers. The acceptable levels established for the third year of the program is 140/90 for blood pressure, 125 for blood sugar and 245 for cholesterol.