Penn State's Vice President for Human Resources Answers Health Insurance Questions

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Penn State is introducing changes to its employee health insurance benefit plans. WPSU's Kate Lao Shaffner met with Penn State's Vice President for Human Resources, Susan Basso, to ask some questions.

CORRECTION: In the interview, Susan Basso misstated the process for identifying tobacco users. The WebMD Wellness Profile will not be the source of that information. Penn State says it has no access to individual answers from the wellness profile. Instead, employees will self-attest to their tobacco use during benefits open enrollment period through the online Employee Self Service Information Center, or ESSIC.


Daniel Ehrlich
University Park
Jul 30, 2013

Why shouldn’t the $100/month surcharge be considered extortion?  It is according to Webster’s Dictionary:

gerry santoro
pennsylvania furnace
Jul 30, 2013

Do you have a transcript?  I am hearing -impaired.


nottenured notunioned
State College
Aug 01, 2013

If cost control is the key, why spouses and other dependents are exempted from reporting personal information? Are spouses/dependents healthier than employees?

The beauty of this plan is that if you are not earning enough you don’t have a choice. So most employees don’t have that choice disregard what you said.

How could reporting personal information to a third party improve health and wellness? How does it work? How is it relevant?

Does fine-induced honor system invite people to lie? If more people lie to avoid the fine, how will this program help you meet the University goal?

Should obese employees pay more for themselves and their children because of their genetic disadvantage?

If you think the last question is offensive or politically incorrect, where do you think the questions should stop? Where do you draw the line?

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