In an effort to promote and support the health and wellness of employees, Columbus Consolidated Government will impose a $50.00 per month or $23.08 biweekly surcharge above the premium rate for all active employees/Pre-65 retirees premium plans including the Silver and Gold Plan effective January 1, 2018. This surcharge is subject to change annually. The surcharge applies to employees/Pre-65 retirees, who are tobacco users. For purposes of the premium surcharge, “tobacco use” is defined as:
- Using any tobacco product (other than for religious or ceremonial use) including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, electronic cigarettes; tobacco products applied to the gums (e.g., dipping, chewing tobacco, vaping, or snuff)
- Uses tobacco products on average four or more times a week
- Within no longer than the past six months.
The Columbus Consolidated Government supports its employees’ desire to quit; therefore, employees have access to two free tobacco cessation programs:
- Georgia and Alabama Department of Health’s Tobacco Quit Line Program – Telephonic Format. To register for this program you must complete and return the Quit Line Referral form to the HWC or you can scan and email your completed form to Hayden Sutherland, Health Coach, at firstname.lastname@example.org beginning September 1st through December 31st, 2018. Once registered, participants are connected to a quit coach that will help you develop a personalized quit plan over a 6-MONTH period. The time may be adjusted depending on your quit date.
- American Cancer Society FreshStart Program – Face-to-Face Onsite Group Setting. You must request participation in this program by calling Human Resources at 706-653-3566, or by registering in the CCG database beginning September 1, 2017. Classes start on October 1, 2017. A trained instructor will serve as group facilitator for face-to-face sessions.
The Health & Wellness Center will also offer tobacco cessation medications.
Consequences of False Certification: The penalty for false certification of tobacco product abstinence is imposition of the tobacco surcharge immediately following the discovery of false certification or positive random nicotine test. The $50.00 per month/$23.08 biweekly tobacco surcharge WILL apply.
Removal of Tobacco Surcharge: The tobacco surcharge may be removed by completing the Tobacco Cessation Program Option #1 or #2 offered by CCG. Once you have completed a tobacco cessation program and provided certification (proof) of program completion, the tobacco surcharge will be removed and a retroactive refund of the tobacco surcharge for that year will be issued. Your certificate of completion must be submitted to the HR Department within 10 days of receipt.
Random Nicotine Testing: Employees must agree to random nicotine testing at the Columbus Consolidated Government’s expense for evidence of tobacco product consumption.
Failure to Return Tobacco/Smoke Free Affidavit: EMPLOYEES WHO FAIL TO RETURN A
COMPLETED, SIGNED AND WITNESSED AFFIDAVIT TO HUMAN RESOURCES BY
DECEMBER 1, 2017 WILL BE ENROLLED BY DEFAULT INTO THE TOBACCO SURCHARGE
RATE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 2018.