CVS Caremark has put its employees on notice that they need to reveal their weight or pay a monthly $50 penalty.
“Avoid the $600 annual surcharge,” CVS warns its employees who use the company’s health insurance plan. They’ve been told they are required by May 1 to show up to a doctor for an annual WebMD Wellness Review and submit to tests for blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass and body weight.
“Going forward, you'll be expected not just to know your numbers - but also to take action to manage them,” the CVS policy states.
While many employers have been pushing its workers to get healthier, it’s usually through incentives rather than penalties. “This is about as coercive and blunt as I’ve ever seen,” said Dr. Deborah C. Peel, the founder of Patient Privacy Rights, a nonprofit organization based in Austin, Texas.
“Many employers want to do something for their workers, but very few of them are stupid enough to say give us the information and sign this form and say it’s voluntary,” Peel said.
Smokers working for CVS are also warned: “You must either be tobacco-free by May 1, 2014, or participate in the WebMD tobacco cessation program.” Defiant smokers can avoid penalties if they are healthy enough in other categories specified by the company.
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