The choices we make every day affect our lives, and USS wants to help you make positive healthy changes. Due to the high personal and medical costs associated with chronic tobacco/nicotine use, USS has implemented a Tobacco/Nicotine Surcharge effective January 1, 2022.

 What is a Tobacco/Nicotine Surcharge?

USS will assess a $600 annual Tobacco/Nicotine Surcharge for employees, spouse or domestic partner, and/or dependent children older than age 18 who use tobacco or nicotine and are enrolled in USS's medical plan. The Tobacco/Nicotine Surcharge is in addition to the regular monthly medical premiums. Tobacco use includes any form of tobacco/nicotine, including cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, pipes, e-cigarettes, etc., used after October 1, 2021, regardless of frequency or location.

Who is included in the Tobacco/Nicotine Surcharge?

Any employee, spouse or domestic partner, and/or dependent over 18 on the USS medical plan who meets the tobacco/nicotine user definition will be assessed the Tobacco/Nicotine Surcharge. Each employee must complete the tobacco/nicotine survey during the enrollment process, which allows self reporting of tobacco/nicotine status. Anyone who does not complete the survey will automatically be assessed the Tobacco/Nicotine Surcharge.

We want to help you become your healthiest self. If you or someone in your family are still using tobacco products, take advantage of the programs provided by our insurers, at no charge to you, to avoid the surcharge next year!

Stop using tobacco with support from these programs

Cigna Offerings

  • Online Cessation Program
    • Self-guided – at your own pace
    • Personalized plan – set goals and select activities
    • Trackers
    • Educational materials
  • One-on-one Coaching
    • Tailored to your needs
    • Workbook with information and exercise
    • Toolkit
    • Completion letter and follow up calls
  • Generic and brand name over-the-counter medications for a 90-day treatment regimen when prescribed by a healthcare professional, covered at no cost to the employee
  • Prescription brand medications (i.e. Chantix) covered at no cost if deemed “medically appropriate” by their medical provider

For more information go here or call 1-855-246-1873.

Kaiser Permanente Offerings

  • In person classes
    • Quit Tobacco Workshop – 1 3-hour session
    • Freedom from Tobacco – 7 sessions
    • Ex-Smoker Support
  • Resources
  • One-on-one support
  • Prescribed over-the-counter nicotine replacement and other medically necessary smoking cessation medications covered at no cost if prescribed by doctor/clinician.

For more information go to, call 1-866-973-4588 or check out these specific resources:


Get started now!

  • Check out the resources available from your insurer.
  • Make an appointment with your medical provider to discuss options..
  • Persevere – you can do it!