In an effort better manage its healthcare costs, the pharmacy brand CVS Caremark is now asking all employees who use company health insurance to have doctors assess their weight and body fat, among other things, measurements that will then be turned over to CVS' insurer. The company is calling the assessment, which it will provide, "a health screening and wellness review so that colleagues know their key health metrics in order to take action to improve their numbers, if necessary." Any employee who chooses to opt out of the screening will have their health coverage jump $50 per month, according to the Boston Herald.
No CVS employee will have access to others' health information, but privacy activists are angry with the plan, nonetheless. A spokesperson for the group Patient Privacy Rights told the Herald that CVS is being "incredibly coercive and invasive." Alas, the Huffington Post reports that health screenings will probably increase in the age of Obama's Affordable Care Act:
Obamacare could make such practices more common. The health care reform law allows employers to levy a higher penalty against workers who don't participate in company wellness programs. In some cases, workers could also have to pay more if they don't meet certain health targets like appropriate body mass index.
In 2010, Whole Foods attempted to curb employee weight gain by giving thinner staffers a greater employee discount than fatter ones. And in 2008, Japanese health authorities began fining companies that couldn't get their employees' weights down.
[Image via AP]