ObamaCare weighs in: CVS tells employees to reveal personal health info — or pay up
Published March 21, 2013
Looks like ObamaCare may be rearing its head. In the wake of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, CVS is telling its employees they need to reveal their height, weight, body fat percent and other personal information for health insurance purposes.
The Rhode Island-based company, which employs around 200,000 individuals, is telling workers who use its health insurance they need to have a wellness review done — or pay up.
CVS says it will pay for the health reviews and the information will go to a third party administrator of CVS’s benefits, not CVS itself. According to the company, CVS bosses will not be able to access their employees’ health records.
The idea is to incentivize healthy living. CVS says the idea is nothing new.
“The idea of an employee wellness plan is perfectly legal under the ADA. Courts held up these plans,” said Joshua Kersey, a Tampa labor attorney. He says with “Obamacare” looming in 2014, practices like this wellness review are likely to become more common, because a lot of employers are expecting to pay more for their workers’ health insurance.
“The more money it’s going to save the employer, the more incentive the employer has to affect these types of programs,” he said.
In CVS’s case, workers not comfortable getting the review done will have to pay a $600 annual penalty.
“It is voluntary because you’re welcome to get healthcare through someone else,” he said.
In a statement, CVS says it’s implemented the program to try and keep employees as healthy as possible, and help them manage their costs.