CVS recently implemented a new policy requiring every one of its approximately 200,000 employees who use its health plan to submit their weight, body fat, glucose levels and other vitals.
Those who agree to the new policy will continue to pay the same amount for their health care coverage, while those who object will have to pay an extra $50 per month - equaling $600 more per year - for the company’s health insurance program.
“The approach they are taking is based on the assumption that somehow these people need a whip, they need to be penalized in order to make themselves healthy,” Patient Privacy Rights founder Dr. Deborah Peel said.
Critics worry that CVS may start firing sick employees, referring to the new policy as coercion.
“It’s technology-enhanced discrimination on steroids,” Peel said.
CVS explained the policy in an email to ABC News, stating that it’s “benefits program is evolving to help our colleagues take more responsibility for improving their health and managing health-associated costs.”
“The goal of these kinds of programs is to end up with a healthier work force,” the email continued. “If your employees are healthy, they’re going to work better and they’re going to cost the employer a lot less money.”
CVS insists that the plan is common practice, though many employees and their family members have questioned whether the practice is legal.
Brad Seff, a former employee in Broward County, Florida, sued the county in April 2011 after being charged $40 more per month for health insurance when he refused health screenings. Seff lost the suit.