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CVS Pharmacy is the latest in the spotlight. The company now requires every one of its nearly 200,000 employees to submit their health stats like weight, body fat, glucose levels, etc. or pay a monthly fine. Employees who agree will see no change in their health insurance rates. Those who don't, will be fined $50.00 a month or $600.00 a year.
Critics say it's coercion and they believe CVS and other companies might start firing sick workers.
CVS, however, says the screening is voluntary and that the company would never see the results. They say their benefits department is just trying to help employees take more responsibility for improving their health and managing health care costs.
Here's my question. If it's voluntary, then where does the fine come in? Also if the company never sees the results, what are the results used for? Who uses the results? Who sees the results? Obviously it's someone in charge of managing health care costs and for a reason.
CVS says such practices are commonplace. They are right about that. You can search the internet and find that to be true. I've always found approaching it from the negative side is the wrong way to go because it just sparks debate and angers people. I do agree with having a healthy workforce within a company. I also know that the more claims that are filed, the higher the costs go for the company and the employees. But I've always liked the positive approach. Let me explain.
Non-smoker? You get a discount.
Not overweight? You get a discount.
Slightly overweight? You get a smaller discount.
Exercise regularly? You get a discount.
I think putting the carrot at the end of the stick is much more effective than beating them with the stick. It would also look more like a benefit for healthy living than a punishment for non-healthy living.
One thing is certain. These types of programs, on the negative side, do ignite debate.