There are just certain topics that seem like they should be off limits to your employer. That lover’s quarrel you had last night. Exactly how much money you spend on candy each month.
That last one has really got people up in arms lately. According to The Boston Herald, Rhode Island-based CVS Caremark has informed its employees that those who are on the company insurance plan must submit to having the company pay for a doctor to record their weight, height, body fat, blood pressure and glucose and fasting lipid levels.
All workers who participate in this “voluntary” plan must sign a form allowing the insurer to give their test results to WebMD Health Services Group, the firm with which CVS works for health management programs.
Oh, and one other thing: CVS employees who forgo this “voluntary” medical screening will see their medical coverage increase by $50 a month—or $600 a year.
Companies having a stake in their employees’ health is nothing new. Weight-loss competitions, company-wide races and free yearly screenings are all pretty much the norm for big companies who try to keep their employees healthy and their health insurance premiums as low as possible. But the $600/year penalty for what is being billed as a voluntary program has people crying foul.
For its part, CVS is calling these measures a health and wellness screening, an action meant to help employees get a firm grasp on their physical health and make any changes necessary to stay on track.
In an email to The Boston Herald, CVS spokesman Michael D’Angelis said, “Our benefits program is evolving to help our colleagues take more responsibility for improving their health and managing health-associated costs.”
He added that CVS bosses would have no access to the workers’ private health information.