The NDPERS Wellness Benefit Funding Program is available to employer groups that participate in the NDPERS group health plan and have been approved for the Employer Based Wellness Discount Program. The Wellness Funding Program, in conjunction with the Wellness Discount Program, encourages employers to commit to promoting wellness planning and programming at their work sites. The funding program provides funding assistance to employers that develop and sponsor on-site wellness programs for their employees. Benefits are available to eligible employers once each fiscal year of the biennium while funds allow.
To apply for funding assistance, you must complete a Wellness Benefit Funding Program Application which is available on our web site. The form is included as part of the Employer Based Discount application. Each year when you apply for the discount program, if you know you will require funding assistance, you should simultaneously complete the funding application and submit it by the designated deadline specified for the discount application. The funding application must show a direct correlation of the programs you are requesting funding for to the programs listed on the Wellness Program Discount application. The forms can be filled out online, but must be printed. Be sure to include any documentation that supports or describes your proposed wellness activity or identifies how you assessed your employees’ interest in the program.
The funding application is evaluated and approved by the Wellness Committee.
Some areas of evaluation include:
- Ability to describe the program and examples of promotional activities and methods to motivate employees to participate.
- How the need or interest for the proposed program was assessed.
- Whether a survey was conducted.
- Whether the budget is reasonable and justified.
- Whether there is a financial contribution by the employer and/or the participants.
The Committee has 60 days in which to evaluate and respond to your request. You will be notified whether or not your application has been approved. Approval of your organization’s application for funding does not guarantee availability of funds. This means that if the expenses for covered programs and equipment are incurred once NDPERS available funding has been depleted, your organization is ineligible for reimbursement.
Funding is available for agency group programs and equipment.
- Develop your own program or
- Apply for an NDPERS sponsored program such as Go Red North Dakota through the American Heart Association or other programs in conjunction with Sanford Health Plan.
Eligible Equipment (Beginning July 1, 2019)
- Exercise equipment*
- Health monitoring equipment* such as blood pressure cuffs, blood sugar testing kits, etc.
*Shipping, delivery and installation fees are not eligible for reimbursement. Additionally, your organization must agree to certain criteria/conditions to be eligible for reimbursement of eligible equipment. Funding is limited and will only be provided on a first approved and first requested basis. NDPERS must provide written approval to your application before any such equipment is purchased.
Equipment ordered, funds expended or invoiced dated prior to the NDPERS date of notification are not eligible for reimbursement under this program.
The following activities, services and equipment are not eligible for reimbursement:
- Food items or services, bottled water or water dispensers
- Incentives, prizes or gift certificates
- Services for massages
- Memberships in diet programs, health, athletic or fitness clubs
- Printing expenses
- Expenses for mailing or office supplies
- Services provided for the benefit of dependents, the general public, or in the case of a campus or school, for students.
Employers should fund these items through other means available based on their budget authority or you may consider an employee contribution to help offset these costs. In addition, funds cannot be used for the benefit of dependents, the general public, or in the case of a campus or school, for students.
How Much Can My Organization Get Reimbursed?
Covered program(s) and qualifying equipment are reimbursed based on the following schedule as funds allow:
- Calculation 1: 100% of the first $500 or actual program expense, whichever is less, plus 75% of actual expenses in excess of $500 to a maximum benefit of $1,000,
- Calculation 2: $2.00 times the number of health contracts.
The Committee will use the calculation that provides the best benefit to the employer based on actual program expenses.
As the calculations above indicate, your organization will be responsible for expenses that exceed the maximum benefit allowed under either method. Your organization may want to consider a registration fee for participants or an employer contribution in order to fund any additional expenses.
Who Receives the Reimbursement?
There are two options for the reimbursement of covered program(s) or program related supplies:
- direct reimbursement to agency: must include a copy of the organization’s cancelled check with an itemized invoice. NDPERS will process the reimburse check to be paid to the agency. We cannot reimburse individual employees for expenses.
- direct reimbursement to vendor: the agency must provide an itemized invoice with date of services.
Covered Equipment (Beginning July 1, 2019)
While funds are available and provided NDPERS has provided previous approval, the purchase of eligible equipment must be reimbursed directly to the agency that has incurred the expense.
Tips to Follow When Requesting Reimbursement
- Any entity or individual reimbursed is considered a vendor. This includes retail stores, hospitals, clinics, nutritionists, fitness experts, etc. that provide supplies, materials or personal services or are conducting any part of the program.
- State the total number of participants and the per participant cost on the statement if it does not include an itemization of “per participant” fees for services rendered such as flu shots and blood pressure screening.