Health Plan Wellness Incentives are Taxable to Employees

The State of Wisconsin recently extended a number of financial incentives to employees through the Well Wisconsin employee wellness program. If you are covered under the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance program, you are eligible for a financial incentive to complete biometric testing and health risk assessment.  Depending on your health plan, you may also be eligible for financial reimbursements for wellness related expenses such as gym memberships, fitness classes, or the cost to participate in Community Support Agriculture (CSA) programs.  You can learn more information about the benefits available to you by accessing wellwisconsin.wi.gov.

Per guidance from the federal government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), these benefits are classified as taxable fringe benefits. This means that any financial incentive you receive from the program is taxable income for state and federal tax purposes.

What this means for you:

  • Beginning in 2014 financial incentives will be reported by your employer as a taxable wage and will be subject to applicable withholdings and taxes. You will see withholdings for all incentives issued in the current calendar year reflected on your December pay stub. This will include incentives issued to your eligible family members.
  • Withholding will include 7.65% for Social Security and Medicare and may include withholding for federal and state taxes, depending on the number of exemptions you claimed on your W-4.
  • Due to the year-end reporting, incentives normally paid during the months of November and December will be delayed until the next tax year.
  • Federal regulations requires the UW Service Center to receive financial data regarding incentives issued to employees and their covered family members. Your health information is protected by federal privacy regulations and is not shared with your employer.

Even with the federal government’s tax regulations, eligible employees are able to receive substantial financial rewards for using the wellness incentives offered by the State of Wisconsin and participating health plans. Benefits available through the Well Wisconsin program are also available to any dependent over the age of 18 who is covered by your State of Wisconsin insurance plan.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact ETF at 1-877-533-5020 or our office at 465-2390.

Welcome Michael Bubolz

BubolzMichaelMichael started on August 4, 2014, as an Applications Developer, Computing and Information Technology.  Prior to starting at UW-Green, Michael was employed at Marquette University as an IT Application Specialist and at UW-Milwaukee as an enrollment services staff member.  He earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in criminal justice from UW-Milwaukee.  He is a native of Van Dyne, Wisconsin.  Welcome Michael!

Welcome Paul Mueller

MuellerPaulPaul started on August 25, 2014, as an Assistant Professor, Human Biology.  Paul joins UW-Green Bay from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he was an assistant professor of cell and development biology.  His research has focused on the regulatory pathways that govern cell proliferation, particularly in relations to embryogenesis and development. Originally from Milwaukee, he earned a bachelor’s from UW-Milwaukee and his PhD in biology for the California Institute of Technology.  Welcome Paul!

Welcome Bobbie Webster

websterbobbie1Bobbie Webster started on July 28, 2014, as a Natural Areas Ecologist for the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity.  Prior to starting at UW-Green Bay she was employed at Door Country Land Trust, Applied Ecological Services and the Wisconsin DNR.  Shear earned her master’s and bachelor’s from UW-Steven’s Point.  She is originally from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, is married to Matt and has a daughter, Hannah.  Welcome Bobbie!

Welcome Ankur Chattopadhyay

ChattopadhyayAnkurAnkur Chattopadhyay started on August 25, 2014, as an Assistant Professor, Information and Computing Sciences. Ankur is a computer scientist, whose research work is focused on the topic of privacy in video surveillance. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the department of computer science at the University of Colorado (UCCS). He is presently finishing his PhD under the guidance of Dr. Terry Boult. His research interests include computer vision, pattern recognition, security, image processing-analysis and computer science education. He has more than ten years of experience in both academics and industry. He has published and presented in international conferences like ACM SIGCSE, IEEE CVPR and IEEE FIE. He has also been the recipient of a couple of funding awards and is associated with a NSF grant based research collaboration. As an academician, his passion is teaching computer science, conducting research in security & surveillance and applying his research to improve computer science education. His teaching interests include a wide variety of courses in computer science, especially in the area of security, programming and algorithms. He will be teaching two programming courses – Advanced Software Design (Comp Sci 316) and Advanced Object Oriented Design (Comp Sci 371) in fall 2014.

Ankur is originally from Kolkata in India, where he did his undergraduate studies and earned a bachelor of technology in computer engineering. He has worked in the IT industry for 5 years (2001 – 2006) as a computer consultant with companies like GMAC RFC and AIG Insurance. His industry profile includes multiple positions such as IT analyst, software engineer and embedded systems engineer with Tata Consultancy Services, a global tech organization. His academic job profile also includes different positions – an assistant professor in computer science at the Adams State University in Colorado (2012 Fall – 2014 Spring), a lecturer in the computer science and electrical & computer engineering departments at UCCS (2010 Spring – 2012 Spring) and an adjunct faculty in computer science with the Pikes Peak Community College at Colorado Springs (2012 Spring – 2012 Summer). He has been the recipient of the graduate teaching fellowship award (2007 – 2009) in the computer science department at UCCS. Having joined UWGB in Fall 2014, Ankur aspires to grow further as an educator and a researcher.

Education: PhD in Computer Science, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (Expected Spring 2015); MS in Computer Science, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (Fall 2014); Grad Certification in Information Assurance & Security, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (2012); B.Tech in Computer Engineering, Kalyani University, West Bengal, India (Graduated in 2001)

Welcome Joel Muraco

MuracoJoelJoel Muraco started August 25, 2014, as Assistant Professor, Human Development. Joel earned his PhD in Family Studies and Human Development from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, where he also worked as a Research and Teaching Associate and Lecturer. He researches romantic relationships, the lived experiences of gay and lesbian individuals, and the intersection of the two, which is where most of his scholarly attention focuses. Joel also served as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Wingspan, Southern Arizona’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community center. In his spare time he enjoys bike riding, skiing, and a good book.

Welcome Kristine Coulter

CoulterKristineKristine Coulter started on August 25, 2014, as an Assistant Professor, Democracy and Justice Studies.  Her teaching and research interests include law, American politics, gender and race.  She is from Rochester, Minnesota, and earned her bachelor’s at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and completed work toward her PhD in political science at the University of California, Irvine.  She enjoys running, yoga, cooking, baking and gardening.  Welcome Kristine!

Welcome Lisa Grubisha

GrubishaLisaLisa Grubisha started on August 25, 2014, as an Assistant Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences.  Prior to starting at UW-Green Bay she was a post-doctoral researcher and adjunct instructor at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.  She earned her PhD at the University of California-Berkley, her master’s from Oregon State University and her bachelor’s at UW-Milwaukee.  She is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Welcome Lisa!

Welcome Jeremy Intemann

IntemannJeremyJeremy Intemann started on August 25, 2014, as an Assistant Professor, Natural and Applied Sciences.  Prior to starting at UW-Green Bay he was in Seattle for two years as a postdoc at the University of Washington, where he assisted in the development of new polymers for organic solar cells. He earned his PhD in organic chemistry at Iowa State University. His most recent research has involved the areas of organic photovoltaics and electrooptic materials.  He is a native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, where he earned a bachelor’s in chemistry from the University of Northern Iowa.  Welcome Jeremy!

Welcome Kristin Denslow

DenslowKristinKristin Denslow started on August 25, 2014, as a Lecturer, Writing Center.  Kristin is a PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of Florida.   She holds a master’s in English Literature from Western Michigan University.  Her research interests include Shakespeare in film, television, and media, as well as early modern theater and performance studies.  This summer she assisted with marketing for Door Shakespeare in Baileys Harbor.  She is also the Project Coordinator of the Green Bay Garden Blitz. Welcome Kristin!