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Thread: Companies requiring physical screenings, or pay penalties.. Right or wrong?

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    Companies requiring physical screenings, or pay penalties.. Right or wrong?

    Cnn at the 2pm (ET) time frame had a panel reviewing a case where CVS Pharmacies are requiring their employees to take "voluntary" physical screenings, to check for things such as BMI, lipids, cholesterol etc.. Those who fail to do so, though get punished by paying 600/yr extra for the companies health care.

    Now saying its voluntary and then penalizing you for not doing it is imo the opposite of something being Voluntary.
    I also doubt that they are going to make management do the same..

    What say you all? Is it right that a company gets to do this?

    As a linked question.. Anyone know why you have to take both physical exams (health) as well as pass fitness physicals to gain entrance into the police forces, BUT they do not then have periodic tests to STAY working there???

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    Re: Companies requiring physical screenings, or pay penalties.. Right or wrong?

    We have a labor surplus. So basically, employers can be total douchebags and get away with it - because as the employee, you probably won't be able to get an equal paying job elsewhere, or at all.

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    Re: Companies requiring physical screenings, or pay penalties.. Right or wrong?

    My company does this and it is a bit inaccurate to say the employees who don't take the assessment will 'pay extra'. Those who take the assessment get a rebate, those who don't take the assessment get no rebate, they pay the full premium.

    Given the cost of healthcare it is specious at best to label employers as 'total douchbags' for trying to keep costs down.

    The companies get no visibility into the assessment other than a simple "took the assessment', 'didn't take the assessment'. No employee is going to be sacked because their assessment uncovered risk factors. As I said, the companies don't get visibility as to the assessment results and it would be illegal in any case.

    Now the question is begged.........what are the assessments for?

    One use is to steer prevention programs to specific companies and/or locations. For example, one company has a large number of smokers....a smoking cessation program is offered. I don't see any harm in that.


    So, are the companies doing all of this out of the goodness of their hearts? Probably not. One possible scenario I see (only my opinion):

    Insurance companies are the primary users of math in our society. They have an actuarial table for everything. You take all the assessment data and will be able to compute projected healthcare costs over the life of the policy for a particular company based on the aggregate results. Company A has more employees with risk factors than Company B, then A pays more than B.

    If this is true I don't see a big issue with this as it will tend to even out costs over the long run.

    Bottom line is that a lot of false information is going around about this trend in corporate America.
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    Re: Companies requiring physical screenings, or pay penalties.. Right or wrong?

    Health screening of employees...I believe is justifiable and primarily to allow the employer the opportunity to best control costs related to medical insurance optiions.

    Drug testing of employees to achieve the benefits of a drug free workplace...also justifiable.

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    Re: Companies requiring physical screenings, or pay penalties.. Right or wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Bonham View Post
    We have a labor surplus. So basically, employers can be total douchebags and get away with it - because as the employee, you probably won't be able to get an equal paying job elsewhere, or at all.
    Joe, know who I find to be douchebags. People on my health insurance plan who willingly smoke, eat fast food endlessly, do not work out, live unhealthy life styles, commit insurance fraud, file frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits. These douche's keep causing my health insurance rates to increase.

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    Re: Companies requiring physical screenings, or pay penalties.. Right or wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    My company does this and it is a bit inaccurate to say the employees who don't take the assessment will 'pay extra'. Those who take the assessment get a rebate, those who don't take the assessment get no rebate, they pay the full premium.
    If it was pushed out in that manner i could agree. But with the way the news showed it (referrencing the doc CVS put out) it seemed to be that those who did not get the assessment would be 'fined 600' extra a year.

    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    The companies get no visibility into the assessment other than a simple "took the assessment', 'didn't take the assessment'. No employee is going to be sacked because their assessment uncovered risk factors. As I said, the companies don't get visibility as to the assessment results and it would be illegal in any case.
    Now if the company was being just told that, again i agree with you. BUT again as per the news story, they want to KNOW the results...

    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    One use is to steer prevention programs to specific companies and/or locations. For example, one company has a large number of smokers....a smoking cessation program is offered. I don't see any harm in that.
    If/when it gets to where people are flat out overlooked for employment cause of X (smoking) then i DO see issues.. Would you have any heart ache with a company willfully not hiring say someone who drinks? Even when they only drink off of company time? If not why then would smoking be ok to 'smite'?

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    Re: Companies requiring physical screenings, or pay penalties.. Right or wrong?

    Of course it is fair... until someone passes a law forbidding it on some BS claim that the practice is discriminatory. I'm sure someone somewhere is already preparing a lawsuit.

    Quote Originally Posted by MilPhD View Post
    Joe, know who I find to be douchebags. People on my health insurance plan who willingly smoke, eat fast food endlessly, do not work out, live unhealthy life styles, commit insurance fraud, file frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits. These douche's keep causing my health insurance rates to increase.
    I could not agree more! There is simply no more personal accountability in America today.
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    Re: Companies requiring physical screenings, or pay penalties.. Right or wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    If it was pushed out in that manner i could agree. But with the way the news showed it (referrencing the doc CVS put out) it seemed to be that those who did not get the assessment would be 'fined 600' extra a year.



    Now if the company was being just told that, again i agree with you. BUT again as per the news story, they want to KNOW the results...



    If/when it gets to where people are flat out overlooked for employment cause of X (smoking) then i DO see issues.. Would you have any heart ache with a company willfully not hiring say someone who drinks? Even when they only drink off of company time? If not why then would smoking be ok to 'smite'?
    I can't speak to the news story nor CVS policy. I CAN tell you that it would be illegal if the company received the HRA information (unless the employee signed a HIPPA waiver). I CAN also tell you that several employees in my company have said many of the same things you are saying here. In every case they simply didn't comprehend the explanatory material given to them. Whether the material was poorly crafted, whether it was ignorance on the employees' part, or a combination of both all I know is that much of what is being said (and now evidently by respected news outlets) is wrong.

    I am not sure you understood what I said about the prevention programs. These HRA's are given to employees, not candidates so no hiring decisions are involved.

    I used smoking cessation programs only as one hypothetical example. My company has instituted a wellness program which aims at providing information and assistance to promote an all around healthier lifestyle.

    To answer your question (although unrelated to the issue being discussed) yes I would have issues with screening people for smoking etc.
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    Re: Companies requiring physical screenings, or pay penalties.. Right or wrong?

    I think its fine. If they're forced to pay provide healthcare, they're making sure you're not going to have a heart attack or a stroke in a matter of weeks.

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    Re: Companies requiring physical screenings, or pay penalties.. Right or wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by jconners View Post
    Health screening of employees...I believe is justifiable and primarily to allow the employer the opportunity to best control costs related to medical insurance optiions.

    Drug testing of employees to achieve the benefits of a drug free workplace...also justifiable.
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