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CVS Pharmacy Wants Workers’ Health Information, or They’ll Pay a Fine/here it starts...

Posted by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:37 AM
  • 22 Replies


Mar 20, 2013 7:43am
gty cvs dm 130320 wblog CVS Pharmacy Wants Workers Health Information, or Theyll Pay a Fine

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A new policy by CVS Pharmacy requires every one of its nearly 200,000 employees who use its health plan to submit their weight, body fat, glucose levels and other vitals or pay a monthly fine.

Employees who agree to this testing will see no change in their health insurance rates, but those who refuse will have to pay an extra $50 per month — or $600 per year — for the company’s health insurance program. All employees have until May 1, 2014, to make an appointment with a doctor and record their vitals.

“The approach they’re taking is based on the assumption that somehow these people need a whip, they need to be penalized in order to make themselves healthy,” Patient Privacy Rights founder Dr. Deborah Peel said.

Critics are calling the policy coercion, and worrying that CVS or any other company might start firing sick workers.

“It’s technology-enhanced discrimination on steroids,” Peel said.

The policy change was introduced to employees in a memo highlighting the change in the health insurance plan.

CVS, which is based in Rhode Island, said the health screening was voluntary and the company would never see the test results. In an email to ABC News, CVS explained that its “benefits program is evolving to help our colleagues take more responsibility for improving their health and managing health-associated costs.

“The goal of these kinds of programs is to end up with a healthier work force. If your employees are healthy they’re going to work better and they’re going to cost the employer a lot less money,” ABC News’ chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser said.

CVS insists that the use of health screenings by employer-sponsored health plans is a common practice. A quick search of the Internet shows many websites and message boards filled with questions from families asking if similar programs and policies are legal.

Brad Seff, a former Broward County, Fla.,  employee, learned the hard way that it is legal, according to one court. Seff sued the county in April 2011 after it charged him an extra $40 per month for health insurance after he refused health screenings.

In the suit, Seff said the wellness program violated the Americans With Disabilities Act because the county was making medical inquires of its employees. Seff lost his suit.

“I’m so disgusted. I moved. I left the state,” Seff told ABC News by phone.

by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:37 AM
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Replies (1-10):
SuperChicken
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:43 AM
1 mom liked this

Hmmmmm, that makes me uncomfortable.

lga1965
by Ruby Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:47 AM
2 moms liked this

 People in poor health who have bad habits use their health care more often and that results in higher health care insurance premiums for everyone. So, it makes sense that the unhealthy ones pay a penalty if they don't care to improve their health. And who would deliberately continue to harm their own health by ignoring the widom and knowledge of health professionals? Its not smart and self destructive. In this article, CVS says it is going to keep the information confidential.

If it helps people why not gather the information? I wouldn't mind.

Woodbabe
by Woodie on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:49 AM

I guess if people want to have health care loopholes like the ability to opt out of birth control coverage then it makes sense that they then also have the right to make other decisions about your healthcare options as well. If they think you're too fat, will they opt out of covering you or require to you attend mandatory exercise and diet classes or what?

Mommy_of_Riley
by Jes on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:50 AM
1 mom liked this
This makes me uncomfortable.
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gammie
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:51 AM



Quoting lga1965:

 People in poor health who have bad habits use their health care more often and that results in higher health care insurance premiums for everyone. So, it makes sense that the unhealthy ones pay a penalty if they don't care to improve their health. And who would deliberately continue to harm their own health by ignoring the widom and knowledge of health professionals? Its not smart and self destructive. In this article, CVS says it is going to keep the information confidential.

If it helps people why not gather the information? I wouldn't mind.



Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:53 AM
1 mom liked this

It isn't any different than getting insurance that isn't provided by an employer. Our whole family had to have physicals and blood work when we purchased our own health insurance.

katy_kay08
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:55 AM

these things are not new.  In 2006 a man lost his job because a drug test came back positive for nicotine.  

BY THE RULES
Employee wellness programs have been around for decades. But one likely impetus for these programs to offer a new round of health incentives was the issuing, in December of 2006, of final rules on group health plans under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These rules reduced the uncertainty about what was legally permissible, which was probably holding some insurers back from moving in this direction, Mello says.

Among other things, HIPAA limits the value of incentives that group health plans can offer to less than 20 percent of the total cost of health insurance (meaning premiums paid by both employer and employee). This rule allows for up to $2,420 for a family insurance policy costing $12,100 a year. HIPAA rules also distinguish between incentives based on participation in a program and incentives based on achieving certain health standards, such as quitting smoking or attaining a healthier weight as reflected by the body mass index (BMI).*

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/winter09healthincentives/

kam013
by Silver Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:56 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting lga1965:

 People in poor health who have bad habits use their health care more often and that results in higher health care insurance premiums for everyone. So, it makes sense that the unhealthy ones pay a penalty if they don't care to improve their health. And who would deliberately continue to harm their own health by ignoring the widom and knowledge of health professionals? Its not smart and self destructive. In this article, CVS says it is going to keep the information confidential.

If it helps people why not gather the information? I wouldn't mind.

How does it help any one other than the employer? 

The fine is NOT for those who are unhealthy, the fine is being applied to anyone who decides to OPT OUT of the screenings.  So someone who is perfectly healthy may incur a fine if they don't want to share their PERSONAL health information with their employer.

Yep, I definitely have a problem with this.

DSamuels
by Gold Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 9:57 AM
Where I work you get a discount, it was $250 a year, on your premium if you complete a questionnaire and get a screening. They brought nurses in to take the blood, etc. I don't use their insurance since I'm part time and we have it through hubby's employment.
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Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 10:01 AM


Quoting DSamuels:

Where I work you get a discount, it was $250 a year, on your premium if you complete a questionnaire and get a screening. They brought nurses in to take the blood, etc. I don't use their insurance since I'm part time and we have it through hubby's employment.

we get a $1200 discount for providing the questionaire and getting regular physicals and allowing the insurer access to pur medical findings. We haven't been asked to provide blood or UA for at least a year.

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