CVS Caremark Corp. has given its 200,000 employees an ultimatum—submit to a wellness exam to measure their body mass index, blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol level by May 1st, or be hit with a $600 surcharge on their health insurance premium ($50 per month).
Results of the exam are to be evaluated by online site WebMD, but “the personal information will not be shared with CVS,” stated company spokesman Michael DeAngelis, who added that, “we determined than an additional cost for those who do not complete the review was the most effective way to incent our colleagues to improve their health care and manage health costs.”
The plan, however, has literally “raised the blood pressure” of irate employees and their supporters online, although labor lawyers, including Richard Kass of Manhattan, have found no legal issues with the plan as long as the confidential information is not disclosed to CVS, itself.
Still, while approximately 38% of large employers stated that they now ask their workers to go through health exams, the vast majority (63%) were found to offer financial incentives, rather than penalties to help them make healthier decisions, according to a 2012 survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Health Foundation and the Health Research & Education Trust.
Editor’s note: *We would love to hear from readers regarding their opinion about the new CVS policy.