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January 20, 2011

Pitt Benefits

FitnessForLife2011 Weight Race

The 2011 Weight Race is set to begin on January 24. Listed below are several key points about this year’s campaign. We hope you can join us.

  • There is no cost associated with participating in the Weight Race.
  • Those interested can participate either as an individual or as a team member.
  • There are NO “official” weigh-ins this year; all weights are self reported.
  • Prizes will be awarded to those who “win” the race.  Names will be picked randomly from the groups and individuals who tie for first place.
  • Participating in the Weight Race is a requirement for any one who would like to sign up for the Weight Watchers or Weigh to Wellness programs.
  • Details on the Weight Watchers and Weigh to Wellness programs can be found on the Weight Race web site.
  • There is a cost associated with joining Weight Watchers  ($144) or Weigh to Wellness ($125).  However, the cost is reduced by $65 if the program is completed.  An after-tax payroll deduction is taken for the first payment in February in the amount of $79 for Weight Watchers and $60 for Weigh to Wellness. The second payment of $65, taken in April, is waived if the participation requirements of the program are met.

Members have asked if they can attend Weight Watchers meetings in their local community. To qualify for the race and the incentives, participants must attend the first and last sessions on campus. Other meetings may be attended near your home. It is important to have your “book” signed by the Weight Watchers representative each time to meet the qualifications for the waiver of the second payment.

Weight Race – Key Dates

January 10–21:            Registration

January 20–21:            Draft days & reg. for Weight Watchers

January 24:            Start of the race

March 28–April 1:    Last week of Weight Race

Optional and Dependent Life Insurance Rates Are Lowered

Effective January 2011, the employee-paid optional life and dependent life insurance rates are being lowered by 15% on average. As indicated below, the decreases vary by age brackets. An illustration of the savings for optional life insurance is stated below. The amount of savings is illustrated by this example:

Age Bracket:  50 – 54

Amount of optional life insurance:  $100,000

benefit chart

Seasonal Depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Do the bleak winter months get you down — more than you think they should? Maybe you have seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Seasonal depression is a mood disorder that happens every year at the same time.

What Causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?

There are two seasonal patterns with SAD. One starts in the fall and continues through the winter, and the other starts in late spring or early summer. The fall-onset type of SAD, often referred to as “winter depression,” is better known and easier to recognize — and we know more about it than we know about its counterpart.

What Are the Symptoms of SAD During Winter?

People with SAD have many of the normal signs of depression, including:

  • decreased levels of energy
  • difficulty concentrating
  • fatigue
  • increase in appetite
  • increased desire to be alone
  • increased need for sleep
  • weight gain

How Is Seasonal Affective Disorder Diagnosed?

It is very important that you do not diagnose yourself with seasonal affective disorder. If you have symptoms of depression, see your doctor for a thorough assessment. Sometimes, physical problems can cause depression. But other times, symptoms of seasonal depression are part of a more complex psychiatric problem. A health professional should be the one to determine the level of depression and recommend the right form of treatment.  You may consider contacting your primary care physician (PCP) or call Life Solutions at 1-866-647-3432.


Important Vendor  Contact Information

Benefits Department

Office hours: 8 am-5 pm EST

200B Craig Hall

412-624-8160 (Main Line) • 412-624-3485 (Fax)

Please visit our web site for FAQs, downloadable forms and other benefits information.


UPMC Health Plan

1-888-499-6885  •


United Concordia

1-877-215-3616   •


Davis Vision

1-800-999-5431 •



1-800-842-2776    •


1-800-523-1188    •

Flexible Spending Accounts







Faculty Records


UPMC HealthPlan

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