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Healthy Choices FAQ

Healthy Choices



What is Healthy Choices?
Healthy Choices is a free, voluntary and confidential program that helps qualifying benefits-eligible faculty and staff learn helpful information about their health and then take steps to improve or maintain it.

Why is the university offering Healthy Choices?


The University is deeply committed to creating and encouraging a culture of health among its faculty and staff community. The goal of programs like Healthy Choices is to encourage sustainable healthy lifestyles that help to prevent chronic disease and other health conditions, and manage rising health care costs.

Why should I participate in Healthy Choices?
By understanding your current health, knowing your numbers, and risk factors, you can take action to help minimize or prevent future health problems.

How much does it cost?
The Healthy Choices Wellness program is offered at no cost to benefit eligible faculty and staff.

Am I required to participate in Healthy Choices?
No, participation is voluntary.

What if I have questions?
For general Healthy Choices program questions: Visit, email or call 616-331-2215, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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Who can participate?
Qualifying benefits-eligible University faculty and staff can participate in Healthy Choices. Please note: If at any time your benefit status changes (leave of absence, appointment change, etc.), your eligibility to participate and receive the monetary reward may change.

I am a benefits-eligible employee but I do not get my benefits through Grand Valley. Can I still participate in Healthy Choices?
If you are a qualifying benefits-eligible employee that meets the Healthy Choices eligibility requirements, you can participate in Healthy Choices. Please note: If at any time your benefit status changes (leave of absence, appointment change, etc.), your eligibility to participate and receive the monetary reward may change.

Can I still participate in the Healthy Choices program if I am pregnant?
If you are pregnant, you can participate by completing the medical exception form and submitting to Priority Health by May 31, 2014.

Can retirees participate in Healthy Choices?
At this time, retirees are not eligible to participate in this program.

Can part-time faculty and staff participate in Healthy Choices?
If benefit eligible, part-time faculty and staff can participate in Healthy Choices. Please note: If at any time your benefit status changes (leave of absence, appointment change, etc.), your eligibility to participate and receive the monetary reward may change.

Can temporary faculty and staff participate in Healthy Choices?
No, temporary faculty/staff are not eligible for Healthy Choices.

I have never participated in the Healthy Choices, can I participate in this years program?
Yes, if you are a qualifying benefits-eligible employee, you can participate in Healthy Choices even if you did not participate in the previous years. Can my spouse/dependent/household member participate in Healthy Choices?
Spouses and members of the household member program may participate in the on site biometric screen offered by Priority Health at no cost. All other components and incentives of the Healthy Choices program are only available to qualifying benefits-eligible faculty and staff.

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What is a Health Assessment (HA)?
A Health Assessment is a health questionnaire, used to provide individuals with an evaluation of their health risks and quality of life.

How do I access the online Health Assessment?
Go to website to complete your online Health Assessment Feb 1 May 31, 2014.

How long will it take to complete the Health Assessment?
The Health Assessment takes less than 20 minutes to complete.

Do I need to accept a disclaimer or release to complete the Health Assessment?
Yes, once you create an account on, you will be asked to read and accept Priority Heaths privacy statement before taking the Health Assessment.

How do I complete the Health Assessment?
Answer each Health Assessment question and click complete at the bottom of each page. Please be sure to check the completion Health Quotient percentage icon at the top of the page to be sure it says 100% complete. Once you complete it you will receive a score and message at the top of the page. It states You've completed your HQ. Your HQ score is ____. 

Do I have to answer all the questions on the Health Assessment for it to be considered complete?

Though you do not have to answer all of the questions on the health assessment, to get the most accurate personal health report, it is recommended that you answer as many as you can. What if I don't complete the Health Assessment or biometric screen?
To participate in Healthy Choices and be eligible to receive the monetary incentive, you must complete the Health Assessment questionnaire. The Health Assessment is available between February 1 and May 31, 2014. You must also complete the biometric screening prior to May 31, 2014.

I completed a Health Assessment and biometric screen for Healthy Choices previously. Can I do another one?
Yes, we encourage all qualifying benefits-eligible faculty and staff to complete the Health Assessment and biometric screen annually to see how their health changes from year to year. In order to participate in Healthy Choices, you must complete the annual Health Assessment between February 1, and May 31, 2014

Members who completed the HA between 2008 and 2013 will not see year over year comparisons as a different vendor was providing service during those years.

Do I have to complete the Health Assessment before I complete my biometric screen?
It is not required to complete the Health Assessment before your biometric screen. Please note you will not qualify to receive the $100 incentive until your Health Risk Assessment and biometric screen are completed. The Health Risk Assessment will need to be completed by May 31, 2014 and biometric screen must be completed by May 31, 2014.

What if I need assistance in completing the Health Assessment?
The Priority Health Wellness staff will be at each onsite Biometric Screening Assessment to help assist you in logging on and completing your Health Assessment.

Questions? Please contact Priority Health customer service at 1-800-446-5674

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What is a biometric screening? (FASTING)
A confidential biometric screen consists of blood pressure, measured height, weight, body mass index (BMI), glucose and a lipid profile. The lipid profile, which requires you to fast for 9-12 hours, is a reading of your total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides. Both the glucose screen and lipid profile are done through a Cholestech test, which uses a finger stick to draw blood. The test itself takes approximately 15 minutes.

Please note the on-site screenings are not meant to be a substitute for your normal physician visit, but rather are intended to raise awareness about your health. Priority Health professionals will refer you to your physician if they feel you may need to follow-up on any results provided.

In 2014, Grand Valley State University moved to a finger stick (or finger poke) method for conducting the on-campus biometric screen versus venipuncture (blood draw through the arm). Reasons for the switch:

  • Accuracy and precision for test results are the same for fingerstick and venipuncture methods.
  • The finger stick method gives participants immediate results and feedback. With results available, faculty and staff can be counseled at the health screening.
  • Employers who offer the finger stick method tend to see higher participation rates as it is a less intrusive method.
  • Grand Valley State University faculty and staff top health conditions include high blood pressure and diabetes. The finger stick method includes screening for those at risk for these conditions.
  • The screenings offered on campus are a means to supplement visits to the health care professional, not to replace testing for those who have known conditions. Those with conditions that require additional testing are encouraged to meet with their own health care professional.
  • It is true that the comprehensive testing via venipuncture led to diagnosis of conditions that may not have been noticed otherwise. However, situations can also occur where an abnormal reading may be perfectly normal and visits to the health care professional take place but may not be necessary.
  • The Health Assessment in conjunction with the biometric screen is important when looking at risk factors and lifestyle, not the biometric screen alone.


Do I have to fast before my on-site biometric screen appointment?

Do I have to participate in all parts of the on-site biometric screen?
No. You are encouraged to complete all parts of the screening, but if you are uncomfortable with any part of the screening, you may choose to opt out of that part of the process.

How do I schedule a Biometric Screening?

Registration for the 2014 program is now closed.
2015 program schedule

To get started, update or cancel a registration, go to

· Log in to your member center

· Look for the box titled “Your events” on the right side of the page

· Click the link for the”Wellness event schedule”

· Select the upcoming event that you'd like to register for

· Click “Register now” (or select “Update my registration” or “Cancel my registration”)

· Select the session you'd like to attend, enter your email address and click “Sign up”

How should I prepare for my on-site screening appointment?
Bring your Priority Health insurance card if you are a member. Fasting is required; however the screen can still be completed if there is not a fast. You can dress as you normally would for work. Please arrive on time and check in at the registration desk. Please note: if you arrive late for your appointment, we may not be able to accommodate your appointment time.

Can I schedule my biometric screening during my work day?
Because departments/units vary in their policies and staffing needs, please check with your manager or supervisor prior to making your appointment if it will occur during your scheduled work day.

Are there on-site screening appointments available in the evenings and on weekends?
2014 screenings are now closed. View the 2015 schedule. 

STARTING JAN 1, 2015 the opportunity to schedule an appointment will be available online.

I recently went to my health care provider and had my height, weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol checked, can I use those values?
Maybe. If you had your height, weight, blood pressure, total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol tested between October 1, 2013 - May 31, 2014 you can have your provider complete the Priority Health Physician Documentation form and fax it to Priority Health to qualify for your biometric screen component. The physician documentation form must be received by May 31, 2014.

How do I confirm if my verification form from my health care professional was received ?
GVSU will update their site for participation bi-monthly so it will include the biometric screening completion list including those who submitted a physician documentation form. This is updated frequently so please continue to check back if your name is not on the list.

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What is the Active Management Component?
If a risk factor for a health condition or behavior is identified after completion of the biometric screen and online health risk assessment, faculty and staff members have the opportunity to follow up with a Priority Health health coach. The Priority Health coach partners to successfully manage their health condition. Conversations with ones own health care professional are encouraged.

Once your online health assessment and biometric screen are complete,

If risks are presented:

Health Coaching happens on the phone in two stages:

· Your first coaching session: Your initial phone call will take 45-60 minutes. You and your coach will review your Health Assessment results. Together, you'll develop personal goals and an action plan.

· Your weekly sessions: You'll speak with your coach by phone for 15-30 minutes to review progress toward your goals, explore and resolve challenges and set your goals for the next week.

 If you are already managing a health condition with your own health care professional, you can discuss this with your health coach during the initial call and have an option to submit a physician attestation form. 

If no risk or low risk is presented:

Faculty or Staff who present no risk factors as recognized by Priority Health do not need further action to be complete for Active Management. Deadline: December 31, 2014

How will health risk factors be identified?
Health risk factors will be identified by participation in the online Health Assessment through Priority Health AND a biometric screen through an on campus assessment offered by Priority Health.

What if multiple risks are identified?
If multiple risk factors are identified, participants are only required to participate in an active management program with a health coach for their primary condition to receive the reward. It is not required to complete sessions for each risk factor presented. The primary condition is determined by the faculty or staff member.

How will active management be tracked?
Priority Health will provide a list of members who successfully complete their health coaching sessions to GVSU the first week of September, the first week of November and final report by January 15, 2015. Participants who present no risk factors will automatically receive credit for active management and will be eligible for the incentive.

What if I participated in the biometric screen using my own health care professional and not on campus? How does that affect the active management piece?
The same risk stratification process will be used. To be eligible for incentives, members who choose to utilize the health care professional option must turn in the Physician Documentation Form to Priority Health by May 31th 2014 at 5pm. No late forms will be accepted.

What if I am already managing my condition with my own health care professional?
If you are already working with your own health care professional to manage a health risk, you can discuss this with your health coach during the initial call and have an option to submit a physician attestation form. 

Are the Priority Health coaches qualified and certified to help me with my condition?
Yes. The Priority Health coaching staff holds credentials in dietetics, kinesiology, exercise science, respiratory therapy, health education, psychology, counseling, biology, and nursing. Coaches are multilingual in Spanish, English and French.

Is the Health Coaching service confidential?
Yes. Participation in the Health Coaching services offered through Priority Health is confidential and complies with HIPPA requirements. Grand Valley State University does not receive any personal information discussed in the coaching sessions. Content discussed is between you and your health coach.

What is the incentive for completing the Active Management component?
In addition to the benefit of managing ones health condition, faculty and staff can earn $100 into their Health Savings Account or paycheck for completing the active management component. To receive the monetary incentive for this component the biometric screen and online health risk assessment must also be completed by December 31, 2014. Back to top.




Who is administering the Health Assessment, biometric screen and health coaching for Healthy Choices?
To protect your privacy, Grand Valley State University has contracted with Priority Health to administer the Health Risk Assessment, biometric screen, and health coaching.

What happens with the information I provide?
Information collected from Healthy Choices is treated as confidential. By agreeing to Priority Health's privacy statement, you are allowing Priority Health to view your health questionnaire information and advise you on health improvement strategies. Participating in the Health Assessment and biometric screen allows Priority Health to identify risk factors of GVSU faculty and staff. GVSU will have access to reports indicating whether or not a GVSU member is in a high risk category. Individual risk factors will not be disclosed to GVSU.

What happens to the results and health information from the Health Assessment and biometric screen?
Information collected from Healthy Choices is treated as confidential. Priority Health will use the health information that you provide to advise you on health improvement strategies. Priority Health treats your results as confidential. Completion information will be used to determine your incentive. Only aggregate (group) de-identified data is used to help the University better understand the collective health of our faculty and staff and to assist with planning future programs that address the needs of our community. Please be assured that the confidentiality of your personal health information is protected.

Will I be penalized if I don't participate?
No, participation is voluntary. However, the $100 for each category, (up to $300) incentive is only available to those who complete the Health Assessment, biometric screen and active management by December 31, 2014.

Will the results of my Health Assessment and biometric screen affect my insurance coverage or benefits?
No. Your results will not affect your insurance coverage or benefits nor will they be disclosed to your insurance company or your employer without your permission. Will any of the information obtained through my Health Assessment or biometric screen be shared with my manager?
No, the confidentiality of your personal health information is protected. Your personally identifiable health data will not be shared with your manager, nor will it be added to any GVSU faculty or staff files.

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Is there an incentive for participating?
Yes, qualifying benefits-eligible faculty and staff who complete the Health Assessment and biometric screen by May 31, 2014 earn a $100 incentive in their Health Savings Account in the first quarter of 2015. Members who are not enrolled in the High Deductible Plan will receive the incentive in their paycheck.

Participants have the opportunity to receive an additional $100 reward for completing healthy activities and active management. View full details on the Healthy Choices online portal

Why is Grand Valley giving employees monetary incentives for participation in Healthy Choices?

Research has shown that financial incentives and a supportive workplace are effective ways to achieve high levels of participation. Research has also shown that high participation in wellness programs achieved through the use of incentives also generates cost savings for the organization and its employees. Given these tough economic times, and since the university has been seeing steady increases in health care costs for the last decade, Grand Valley has made a long-term commitment to the health and well-being of its faculty and staff to first improve their health, but also to save on health care costs.
How will I receive my incentive?
Incentives will be administered in the first quarter of 2015. If you are enrolled in the High Deductible Health plan and have a Health Savings Account, your incentive will be deposited pre-tax into your Health Savings Account. If you have yet to open your account are eligible to do so, you will need to open the Health Savings Account through United Bank in order to receive your incentive.

Faculty and staff who are not enrolled in the High Deductible Health Plan with the Health Savings Account will receive their incentive directly in their paycheck and it will be taxed.

An instance may be possible where faculty and staff enrolled in the High Deductible Health Plan are not eligible to open a Health Savings Account (for various legal or medical reasons). Human Resources will work with those individuals on a case by case basis to distribute the incentive.

When will I receive my monetary reward?
Your before-tax reward payment will occur within the first quarter 2015

What if I don't want to receive the monetary reward?
If you do not want to receive the reward please contact the Health and Wellness office at 616-331-2215.

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Where can I go if I don't have easy access to a computer?
All campuses offer computing sites for general use:

If you require additional assistance, please contact Health and Wellness at 616-331-2215 Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

I already see my health care provider? Why should I participate?
This program is focused on prevention; it provides educational materials, referrals, and personal support with proven results. The materials and follow-up programs will help you reduce health risk factors and/or better manage certain chronic health conditions in partnership with your personal health care provider. The information is tailored to each individual's personal needs. Participants are encouraged to share their report with their health care provider.

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