CVS employees must share their weight or pay

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on March 20, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 20 at 7:17 PM

While some companies are offering employees rewards for improving their health, CVS Pharmacy plans to take a different approach.

A new CVS policy requires nearly all 200,000 employees who use its health plan to submit health information monthly or pay a fine.

Employees who don't share their weight, body fat, glucose levels and other vitals with the company will pay an extra $50 a month, or $600 a year, for health insurance.

On the other hand, King County offers an incentive for employees that get a health screen and follow the doctor's recommendations. If they don't do anything, there's no savings on their premiums and co-payments.

Safeway started the trend in 2005 and it's legal under a 1996 federal law.

So far, CVS isn't requiring employees to change their behavior, just get screened.

In a statement released today, CVS said the additional cost is the best incentive for their employees to improve their health care and manage costs.

These programs can have big savings. King County Executive Dow Constantine said the county has saved $46 million in employee healthcare costs because people are getting healthier with the program.

Proponents of the move say it encourages employees to take personal responsbility. But some worry about privacy issues and that employees with health issues may lose their jobs.

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