Is your employer offering rewards or penalties if you participate in a wellness program, stop smoking or lose weight?
CVS is joining a growing list of employers who tie wellness participation to rewards and penalties. In this case, the pharmacy chain says employees can save $50 a month on their insurance if they have a series of tests (body mass index, blood pressure, etc.). Employees who don’t have the tests lose the money, $600 a year.
CVS Caremark spokesman Michael D’Angelis told the Boston Herald that the policy will help “colleagues take more responsibility for improving their health and managing health-associated costs.” The company says a third party will review and manage the employees’ test results. Some privacy advocates worry CVS and other firms will use the information to discriminate against less healthy workers who drive up health care costs.
More companies are expected to follow the example of CVS by offering incentives/penalties in exchange for monitoring employees’ health. Affordable Care Act rules that encourage these options take effect January 1, 2014. The Obama administration says expanding wellness programs “may offer our nation the opportunity to not only improve the health of Americans, but also help control health care spending.”
What’s happening in your workplace?