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CVS to Workers: Tell Us Your Weight or Pay $600
CVS workers using the company’s health care plan will have to disclose their weight or pay up.
The company’s new health care plan, which CVS is touting as a way to encourage workers to be healthier, tells employees to visit their primary care physician and have their height, weight, body fat percentage, blood pressure and pulse recorded, among other personal data, or risk paying $50 a month for medical coverage.
“Avoid the $600 surcharge!” CVS wrote on its employee benefits website.
The health screening form, which the Press obtained from a CVS employee, must be completed and signed by the employee seeking medical coverage as well as the worker’s physician.
“Forms will NOT be accepted without both parties’ signatures,” it states.
“We want to help our employees to be as healthy as they can be, which is why we decided to implement this plan,” CVS said in an emailed statement. “In fact, we have been working for a number of years on ways they can improve their health through preventive measures. Health care programs that incent employees to be healthier are not new. Many companies around the country already have plans similar to the one we are implementing.”
The statement goes on to say that 79 percent of “large employers have health assessments incorporated into their programs,” according to the National Business Group on Health.
“To encourage a higher level of participation in our wellness review, we reviewed best practices and determined that 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,” CVS added.
One CVS employee still steaming over the new health care plan told the Press that this is just another ploy for the company to pad its pockets.
“I don’t want anybody knowing my personal information,” said the worker, who asked to remain anonymous. “It’s not going to change people’s lifestyle.”
The six-year CVS employee said she feels “violated” and noted that her fellow employees are complying with the new plan out of “fear that they’re going to lose their jobs.”
“It’s none of their business!” she blasted.
CVS’ plan was also criticized by one patient privacy advocate who described it as “coercive and blunt.”
“Many employers want to do something for their workers, but very few of them are stupid enough to say give us the information and sign this form and say it’s voluntary,” Dr. Deborah Peel, founder of Patient Privacy Rights, told NBC.