Tobacco Cessation Benefits for the GR Medical Center and Professional Practice Group

Quitting tobacco has benefits!

Beginning October 1, 2013, Georgia Regents Medical Center and Professional Practice Group (PPG) employees and their dependents can access the Augusta University Tobacco Cessation Services through the Cancer Center.  


Insurance and Tobacco Cessation

Q:  Will my insurance pay for my cessation initial visit and the classes?
A:  Yes.  GRMC health plans will cover the initial clinic visit, behavioral counseling classes and pharmacotherapy (up to a 90 day supply), if provided by the GR Cancer Center. 

Q: Will the cost of my GRMC health insurance decrease if I participate in the tobacco cessation program?
A:  Yes.  Employees in the group health plan at GRMC may receive $500 per year in premium reductions by attesting that neither they, nor anyone else covered under their health plan, use tobacco products of any kind, and that during the insurance year, will abstain from tobacco use. 


Premium Reduction

Q:  How do I obtain the premium reduction?
A:  Employees who complete the tobacco cessation mid-year will be able to submit proof of completion to the Human Resources, Benefits office so the tobacco incentive (reduced premium) may be applied.  Employees may change their attestation once per calendar/plan year.


Family Members Who Use Tobacco

Q: My spouse smokes but I don’t. Can he/she enroll in the tobacco cessation clinic and classes?
A:  Active dependents (spouse and/or child/ren) enrolled in a GRMC health plan have the ability to enroll in the tobacco cessation program.


Tobacco Relapse

Q:  If I attend the classes, but drop out before they end, or relapse, can I re-enroll?
A:  Re-enrollment will need to occur during the next calendar year (pending availability of classes).  This program is a once per year benefit as part of the group health plan at GRMC. 

Q:  What happens if I relapse and I’m receiving the reduced premiums but do not notify Human Resources, Benefits office?
A:  Violation of the terms of the incentive program may result in termination of their health insurance coverage, employment and repayment of the premiums.


Tobacco Testing

Q: I’ve heard there is random testing to ensure the employee receiving premium reductions is compliant?  Is this true?
A:  Yes, when an employee attests that they are tobacco-free in order to receive reduced health premiums, they are also stating they agree to be randomly selected for nicotine and metabolites testing. 


Other Health Plan Incentives

Q: Are there other health plan incentives for me if I go through the tobacco cessation sessions?
A:  Choice Medical (HDHP) plan members may receive $100 in employer-provided health savings account dollars by completing the approved cessation program through the Augusta University Cancer Center.  Your Certificate of Completion documentation should be provided to Employee Health & Wellness.


Who to Contact

Q:  Who do I contact if I have health plan questions regarding the smoking cessation benefit at GRMC?
A:  Contact Human Resources, Benefits at (706) 721-7909.

Q:  Who do I contact with questions regarding GRMC wellness incentives?
A:  Contact Employee Health and Wellness at (706) 721-3418.