CVS is enraging its employees over its new health policy, which it announced on March 20, according to CNBC. The policy is supposedly “voluntary” but employees feel that they are being forced into signing.
Basically, the new policy requires all employees to visit their doctor by May 1 for an annual WebMD wellness review, and they must be tested for blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass, and weight metrics. The company assures its employees that the information will be kept completely private, and that CVS itself will not have access to the data, which will be maintained by WebMD.
"Going forward, you'll be expected not just to know your numbers -- but also to take action to manage them," the CVS policy states.
If employees don’t submit to the testing, they will be fined $50 a month, or $600 annually, which the company calls a “surcharge” beyond the cost of their health insurance premiums. Dr. Deborah Peel, the founder of Patient Privacy Rights, a nonprofit organization, said, "This is about as coercive and blunt as I've ever seen.”
Smokers will be subjected to additional criteria: "You must either be tobacco-free by May 1, 2014, or participate in the WebMD tobacco cessation program."
Many companies encourage their employees to get healthier, but most do it through the use of incentives, such as prizes and gift cards, rather than through penalties.
CVS defends its new policy, claiming it will help the company manage its benefits and health care costs.