by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt
Health Care Thoughts: Carrot and Stick
The Obama administration has issued regulations allowing employers to use both incentives and penalties in wellness programs.
There is some controversy here, such as:
employer plans setting and enforcing blood pressure and cholesterol standards
punishing smokers (less controversial perhaps) – is this punishing addicts?
there are many age and racial determinants in health, and civil rights advocates worry about back door age and race discrimination
There are limits and requirements on employers and the incentives/penalties. Employer cannot enforce penalties without offering wellness programs and services (smoking cessation tied to a smokers penalty). Nothing in the rules negates any ADA standards.
Really complicated. HT: New York Times 5/30/2013