EW Banner

Tobacco Surcharge FAQs


Why did UAB add a tobacco surcharge?

Who is required to declare their tobacco usage?
Who does the tobacco surcharge apply to?
What is the amount of the tobacco surcharge?
What products are considered for tobacco usage?
If I am solely using tobacco cessation products in my effort to stop tobacco, does that count as a tobacco product subject to the surcharge?
If I currently use tobacco and wish to have the surcharge removed, what can I do?
If I register and complete the cessation course but continue using tobacco, what happens to the surcharge?
What if I declare myself as a tobacco user and do not register for a cessation course by the deadline, or I register and don’t complete the course?
If I completed one of the UAB tobacco cessation courses, where do I submit the certificate of completion form?


Why did UAB add a tobacco surcharge?

As a world-renowned university with vital roles in preserving and improving life, UAB has a responsibility to be among leaders in health and wellness initiatives. The use of tobacco is one of the leading preventable health risks worldwide. As part of other efforts around tobacco usage on campus and in support of our wellness programs, UAB believes this is the right thing to do.



Who is required to declare their tobacco usage?

All UAB employees electing a UAB medical plan for 2021 during Annual Open Enrollment or as a new benefit-eligible employee will be required to declare tobacco usage for themselves.



Who does the tobacco surcharge apply to?

The tobacco surcharge only applies to UAB employees. It does not apply to dependents covered under the medical plan.



What is the amount of the tobacco surcharge?

A $50 monthly tobacco surcharge will be applied to employees who declare tobacco usage. This surcharge is considered a tax-sheltered amount for payroll.



What products are considered for tobacco usage?

Annual declared tobacco products include cigarettes, cigars, pipes and oral smokeless tobacco products.



If I am solely using tobacco cessation products in my effort to stop tobacco, does that count as a tobacco product subject to the surcharge?

No. Certain tobacco cessation products are available to UAB employees as part of the benefits package at no co-pay with an annual limit of two 12-week cycles of treatment. UAB recognizes these products as tools to help quit tobacco.



If I currently use tobacco and wish to have the surcharge removed, what can I do?

If you declare tobacco usage during 2021 Annual Open Enrollment, you must register for one of the EACC Tobacco Cessation Coursesby Jan. 31, 2021. If you then subsequently complete the course, the tobacco surcharge will be removed for 2021 and refunded back to the beginning of the 2021 plan year. If you are declaring tobacco usage as a new benefit-eligible employee, you must register for one of the EACC Tobacco Cessation Courseswithin 60 days and then subsequently complete the course.



If I register and complete the cessation course but continue using tobacco, what happens to the surcharge?

Completion of the cessation course is the only way to discontinue the surcharge. During the next Annual Open Enrollment, employees will be asked to declare their tobacco usage for the 2022 plan year.



What if I declare myself as a tobacco user and do not register for a cessation course by the deadline, or I register and don’t complete the course?

If you do not register by the deadline and subsequently complete the course, the surcharge will continue for the plan year. If you do not register by Jan. 31, 2021 for an Open Enrollment declaration or within 60 days of declaration as a new benefit-eligible employees, and subsequently complete the course, the surcharge will continue for the plan year.



If I completed one of the UAB tobacco cessation courses, where do I submit the certificate of completion form?

Employees have two options for submissions:

  • Fax to 205-975-7402
  • Drop off at the UAB Benefits Office, located at 
AB 264, 701 20th St. South, Birmingham, AL 35294-0102