While Rusty touched on this aspect of the role of employers in enforcing some notion of promoting reducing cost for premiums through wellness programs using ‘carrot or stick’ incentives comes further discussion via Truthout on the changing role of health insurance in America:
Numerous companies have redefined their health care incentive programs, focusing on punishment instead of positive reinforcement. Moreover, many of these so-called “health” initiatives center around a single goal: losing weight.
CVS Caremark, which employs over 100,000 individuals in the United States, recently announced that employees who do not submit to body mass index (BMI), blood glucose, and cholesterol testing and report their results to the company’s benefit firm will face a fine that amounts to $600 annually.
In a statement released by the company, CVS outlines the rationale behind its new program. It states in part: “our benefits program is evolving to help our colleagues engage more actively to improve their health and manage health-associated costs. An initial step to accomplish this goal is a health screening and wellness review so that colleagues know their key health metrics in order to take action to improve their overall health, if necessary.”