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FAQs

Bobcat Balance

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What is Bobcat Balance

Bobcat Balance is a program that consists of two available services:

1) a database of resources to help you with the daily challenges you face - legal, financial, family or personal, and;

2) an employee assistance program which provides up to five free counseling sessions per problem per plan year per person.

How much does this program cost?

This program is free. The University pays for this benefit to help you achieve your full potential.

Who can use this program?

All benefits-eligible faculty, staff and graduate student employees and members of their household.

I am taking care of my father-in-law who just moved in with me and family. Can he use the program?

Yes. Other members living in your household may be able to utilize services.

Are the counselors who provide the counseling sessions employees of the University?

No, the counselors who provide the counseling sessions are counselors who work in the community and not employees of the University.

How confidential is this program?

Bobcat Balance will not release any information to Texas State regarding your contact with the program without your written consent or as required by law. Human Resources receives statistical reports of utilization, but never any names or other personal information.

Can I access Bobcat Balance on the weekend?

Yes, Bobcat Balance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Is Bobcat Balance part of my insurance benefit?

No, this is an additional benefit and separate from your health insurance. However, Bobcat Balance will try to use a provider with your health plan when possible so you can continue treatment with the same counselor if necessary.

I utilized counseling services in March. When does the 5 visits per issue per year start over?

The number of visits starts over each contract year (September 1-August 31). As an example, an employee utilized counseling services on March 1 for a marital issue; therefore, that employee may have up to 5 additional visits for the same marital issue when the contract year begins again on September 1. 

Can I search the database or call Bobcat Balance during the work hours?

You are encouraged to use the program after work or during breaks. However, depending on the severity of your situation and how quickly you need help, your supervisor has discretion to permit you to access the services during work hours.

How do I record my time if I go to a counseling session during work hours?

Some of the counselors offer evening and weekend appointments; however, if you go during your normal work day you should use sick leave like you would a doctor's appointment.

WellCats

How do I complete my registration?

Register online here and send completed registration forms (Registration page, General Release and Waiver, and Medical Health Appraisal) to Ms. Carolyn Swearingen, Department of Health and Human Performance, Jowers Center A208. It can be hand-delivered or sent via campus mail.

What is the health appraisal that must be completed?

The health appraisal is a two-page questionnaire that is used to assess your current health status. Ms. Carolyn Swearingen or Dr. Lisa Lloyd, in the Department of Health and Human Performance, will review your information and provide you with feedback. This information will be useful when talking with your healthcare provider, developing a personalized wellness plan, and monitoring changes in your health status as a result of participating in a wellness program. Your information is confidential and will not be shared with Human Resources.

I do not want to sign the "General Release and Waiver" form, but am willing to fill out the "Personal Health Appraisal." I would like to still participate in the program; is that possible?

No. Participating in the program is strictly voluntary and the "general release and waiver" form is a requirement for all participants.

Is there any part of the program that is mandatory?

Yes, but only the registration process (see FAQ 1). This gives you free access to the group exercise classes, Lunch ‘n Learns, racquetball courts at Jowers and pool at the Aqua Sports Center.

Do you offer any classes on eating healthy/nutrition?

Yes. Lunch ‘n Learn sessions will cover how to eat healthy/nutrition. Watch for emails from Professional Development regarding class announcements and the WellCats newsletter regarding announcement on cooking classes and nutrition consultation.

Will you hold any education classes for general working out such as: how to get started, quantity and quality of workouts; guidance for somebody who has not worked out before?

Yes, we will have a Lunch ‘n Learn class on exercise – how to get started. Watch for emails from Professional Development regarding class announcements and the WellCats newsletter.

Can my husband join the wellness program as a non-Texas State employee/community member?

No. The free employee wellness program is only open to current employees of the University.

Are part-time employees included in the wellness program?

Yes, but only those who are considered regular, benefits-eligible employees (50% FTE and up).

Are temporary employees hired by Texas State (not from an agency) included in the free wellness program?

Yes. Non-student non-regular staff can participate, but don't qualify for the 30 minute paid wellness release time and would have to attend on their own time.

Are retirees included in the program for free?

No. Retirees can participate, but are subject to the normal fees. However, active Return to Work Retirees can participate and the fees would not apply.

If employees injure themselves while participating in a wellness activity, are they covered by workers comp benefits?

No. Workers comp covers employees who are injured during the course and scope of their job duties.

How is comp time accrued? For example, an employee participates 5 days a week for a total of 2.5 wellness hours for the week. This same employee works 5 extra hours for the week; do they receive the full 5 hours as comp time?

Wellness leave is paid leave and factors into the total number of hours for the week just like any other paid leave. In your example, the employee would earn 5 hours of state comp time.