CVS: Workers Get Screened for Weight or Pay Up
One of the nation`s largest drugstore chains is implementing a controversial policy for its employees asking them to disclose their weight and other personal health information to the company`s health insurance program.
CVS said workers who do not comply will have to pay extra healthcare fees.
For the about 200,000 CVS employees nationwide who are covered by the drugstore company`s health care plan, they have until May 2014 to get their weight, height, blood pressure and body levels screened.
If not, they will have to pay an additional $50 a month, that`s $600 a year extra in health care costs.
At the CVS on Davis Street in Scranton, customers are split on whether this policy pushes the limits on what is or isn`t personal.
“I don`t think it`s right,” said Gary Gayewsky of Moosic. “I mean, your privacy is your privacy and I think it`s just an intrusion of privacy to tell them what you weigh, you know especially for those people who are overweight.”
“Every employee is also a person so they have a right to manage their health as they see fit,” said Sheretta Pearson of Georgia. “However I also think it`s a good thing because it shows that the company could be concerned about their health.”
In a statement to ABC, CVS says its “benefits program is evolving to help our colleagues take more responsibility for improving their health and managing health associated costs”.
CVS said employees who comply with the new policy will not see a decrease in their healthcare bills.
CVS maintains it will not see the test results with the information going to an outside company.
Still some people aren`t buying the company won’t see the information.
“I don`t think it`s fair at all, sounds like it`s discrimination,” said one customer. “The information is out there.”
“It`s getting to that point where big brother looking down here for everything, so I don`t agree with it at all,” said Gayewsky.
CVS is not the only employer to impose health policies on workers.
In February 2012, Geisinger Health System, the largest employer in northeastern and central Pennsylvania, stopped hiring people who smoked or used nicotine products.
Employees already at Geisinger who used those products could continue to do so, just not on company property.
Whether it’s fair or not, some said these policies may at least have people reconsidering their health.
“I think it`s good that it`s making people think about it,” said Gayewsky.