The Affordable Care Act allows employers to impose a penalty against workers who don’t participate in company wellness programs. In some cases, workers would have to pay more if they don’t meet certain health targets. One of the country’s largest pharmacy chains is already putting this clause into effect, according to the Huffington Post.
CVS Caremark, parent company of CVS, is asking workers to take part in a voluntary “wellness review,” paid for by CVS. The review will have a doctor determine their height, weight, body fat, blood pressure and other health indicators. CVS is also asking workers to give permission to the insurer to turn over that information to the firm that provides insurance benefits to the company. Workers who chose to opt out will have to pay an annual $600 penalty.
The company’s policy is “a common practice,” said Michael DeAngelis, a CVS spokesman in a statement to The Huffington Post. He added “our benefits program is evolving to help our colleagues take more responsibility for improving their health and managing health-associated costs.”
According to a survey from the National Business Group on Health, nearly 80 percent of employers offered a health assessment in 2011.
With health care costs cited as one of the biggest concerns among business owners, especially in the face of President Obama’s health care reform law taking effect in 2014, some worry that employers will be desperate to get rid of workers who have costly health conditions.