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Reasons why I should not do a biometric health screening?
self | 3/17/13 | Catechuman

Posted on 03/17/2013 9:45:28 PM PDT by Catechuman

Completing a biometric health screening is a good way to gauge where you are on your health spectrum and what you can work on to improve your health. As part of XXX’s Wellness efforts, you and your covered spouse or partner will need to complete this required screening by March 31, 2013 to avoid a surcharge.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Health/Medicine
I feel this violates my privacy and also I need some good information I can share with the wife about why more money is coming out of my paychecks.

As fairly newbie here, I appreciate the wise counsel from all the silverbacks ;)

1 posted on 03/17/2013 9:45:28 PM PDT by Catechuman
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To: Catechuman

I’ve seen the word “biometric” tossed around a lot, but it always seems like a buzzword. Can they tell you what this screening involves, and how that’s different from a regular checkup?

2 posted on 03/17/2013 10:01:19 PM PDT by Ellendra ("Laws were most numerous when the Commonwealth was most corrupt." -Tacitus)
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To: Catechuman

Lots on the web about this, but I haven’t had any personal experience with it.

3 posted on 03/17/2013 10:23:46 PM PDT by Amberdawn
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To: Catechuman
I guess, the question is, what's the consequences for not doing it?

my place does it a tad different.(it's all verbiage).
The EE & spouse are separate (and spouse is optional).
Any one that does it,there's a reduction in premiums ( sounds better than surcharge).
If the EE doesn't do it, they bump me out of my coverage and into an HSA plan.
4 posted on 03/17/2013 10:23:58 PM PDT by stylin19a (obama - Fredo smart)
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To: Catechuman

Don’t you care about your health?

5 posted on 03/17/2013 10:29:32 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: Ellendra
biometrics noun plural but singular or plural in construction \-ˈme-triks\ Definition of BIOMETRICS 1 : biometry 2 : the measurement and analysis of unique physical or behavioral characteristics (as fingerprint or voice patterns) especially as a means of verifying personal identity That's the definition from Merriam - Webster. Note the key phrase, "unique physical or behavioral characteristics" this includes questions like are you a smoker? If so, how much? Are you overweight? if so, how much? Do you exercise regularly? Are you diabetic? Do you own a gun? Do you ride a motorcycle? Do you drink alcohol? if so, how much? Starting to get the picture? In addition to just asking questions they might call you in to have certain tests or measurements done. Such as measuring your BMI (body mass index.) Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems. (From the Center for Disease Control) They may decide to do cardiac stress testing or respiratory capacity testing. Many of these things are part of a regular checkup but some are not. Will you have your privacy invaded; probably. Will this information be shared with the government despite their protestations that your information will be kept private; again, probably. Maybe not by name, but all other demographics. I hope this makes it a little more clear.
6 posted on 03/17/2013 10:40:35 PM PDT by jjr153 (Never Forget 9/11)
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To: jjr153

I broke this down into paragraphs to make it easier to read, but for some reason the editor didn’t take it.

7 posted on 03/17/2013 10:42:22 PM PDT by jjr153 (Never Forget 9/11)
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To: Ellendra

more info

The biometric health screenings will test for five major health risk factors:

Blood pressure
Weight/height calculation (BMI)
Total cholesterol
LDL cholesterol
Blood sugar levels

Two of the FAQ’s

1. Is this required by “Insurance Company name” or “my employer name?”
“My employer name “ is asking associates to “know their numbers” this year to help control health risks for the future. It is required in order to not have a penalty of $30 per person per pay period.

4. What legislation is it that now authorizes a Healthcare provider or an employer to charge a $30 per paycheck penalty for non-compliance of this requirement?
Under the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), wellness programs such as XXX’s can provide an incentive or penalty (surcharge) up to 20% of the associates’ premium cost for participation or non-participation. This amount may increase to up to 50% in 2014. Of course, we make sure the information obtained remains confidential as protected under HIPAA rights.

They don’t even answer the first FAQ and with the last one it sounds like the costs will only increase.

8 posted on 03/17/2013 11:48:02 PM PDT by Catechuman
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To: Catechuman
I feel this violates my privacy and also I need some good information I can share with the wife about why more money is coming out of my paychecks.

It is likely at this time that there would be minimal consequences for doing that assessmnet; however, at some point in time, they may be able to mandate "wellness" activities (of their choosing) if you don't have the correct readings here.

For example, if your BMI is too high, you could be mandated to enter a weight loss program. (The opportunity costs could be increased premiums or the loss of your job).

Unrealistic? The Armed Forces have, for decades, had a mandatory biometric measurement program for their uniformed members (known as the "fat boy" program). Exceeding the maximum acceptable range is cause for losing pay and eventually being administratively discharged under less than honorable conditions.

I could see that, under the correct circumstances, Obama or one of his successors could, under the health quality provisions of the law, use the same type of provisions for the civil population.

It may seem totally paranoid on my part, but just think back to what would have been unimaginable for the government 30 years ago that is now considered "normal" and not newsworthy.

As for you not participating...well, don't ever go to the doctor, then. When you go to the doctor's office, you will be measured and weighed (BMI) and, if you have blood work done, you will likely have your cholesterol measured (question that? Why else are you are told to fast before the blood test?)

But, but, but...what about patient confidentiality?

Part of Obamacare is a mandate for electronic medical records...that are mirrored to a federal data warehouse. Patient privacy no longer exists (unless you "trust" the government)

9 posted on 03/18/2013 2:58:46 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: Catechuman

The company I work for started a “wellness” initiative beginning this year. Our insurance company didn’t raise our premiums this year but in order to recoup the added costs of complying with PPACA, my company raised the cost sharing (i.e. the employee’s share of the premium) by 5%.

However an employee received a 5% discount if they completed 2 out of 3 items: 1) completed an on-line health assessment/questionnaire with the insurance company, 2) certified oneself by signing a statement as a non-smoker and having been a non-smoker for at least 1 year or 3) had a preventative exam or care within the last 12 months; the list of qualifying preventative exams or care were, among several, a routine preventative physical (not a regular office visit or for treatment or follow up for an existing condition), a mammogram, a colonoscopy, a routine electro cardiogram, even getting a flu shot.

As far as the preventative exam and on-line health assessment and privacy concerns at least related to your employer, at my company, we in HR only received confirmation from the insurance company that they were completed and on what date and none of the results or details is shared with us as the employer as to do otherwise would be in violation of HIPAA.

I fully expect however that next year the costs will go up and the requirements will increase. For instance there was some consideration this year about excluding smokers from receiving the discount even if they completed the on-line heath assessment and had a preventative care exam. I also expect in the future that having too high of a blood pressure or having too high of a BMI, etc. will exclude people from receiving the “discount” or that they will be assessed a “surcharge”. Under HIPAA, the insurance company may not share the results but I “think” they could communicate a pass/fail grade.

I am of two minds on this. I agree with you that it smacks of an invasion of privacy. On the other hand, companies are doing everything they can to keep ever increasing health insurance and regulatory costs down.

Just be grateful that your company is keeping an employer sponsored group health insurance plan, at least for the time being and haven’t figured out, as some companies have, that in some cases it might be cheaper for them to eliminate the employer sponsored group health insurance, pay the government fines and force you to either buy very expensive private insurance or get insurance under one of the government insurance exchanges.

But you know that Obama and Polosi promised us that we could keep our current insurance plan, that nothing would change, that costs would go down….blah, blah, blah….. / sarcasm.

10 posted on 03/18/2013 4:01:11 AM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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To: MD Expat in PA; Catechuman

“voluntary compliance”....Google it

11 posted on 03/18/2013 4:35:32 AM PDT by phockthis ( ...)
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To: Catechuman
I doubt your employer will have access to your specific results of the screening. A lot of large employers do this in an effort to identify areas of focus to improve their premiums. If they discover a significant percentage of their employees are at risk for diabetes, for example, maybe they implement a dietary component to wellness programs.

It makes good business sense. If you are wary of participating, or resent a "penalty" of a higher premium as a result of not doing it, you could always purchase insurance on your own. Nobody likes sharing too much with their employer, but you have to decide if disclosures like this (even though your results are likely aggregated with others) are worth it.

12 posted on 03/18/2013 5:40:13 AM PDT by Mr. Bird
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To: Catechuman

Our insurance does it...they give a flex card type account, and the more health screedings you allow, the more money is credited to the flex account.

Why I wouldn’t do it...IF they find something on their screening, it’s good in a way, you can work on it. But also, that “find” will be in your health records and should you want life insurance, for instance, you may be declined.

Most heakth insurance groups don’t label pre-exisitng conditions, which any findings will be considered, as reason to deny benefits.

And with Obamacare, you can’t be denied a policy (private) because of a pre-exiisting condition, but they can put all kinds of “riders” on your first year of coverage or on the rates. (usually if you’ve maintained continuous coverage, this might not happen.)

But I see it more of a way to gather info that might be used against you in the future, higher rates for those with certain conditions, etc. We know how the system works now, but how will it work in the future, and anything discovered is in your “permanent file.”

I have a pre-exisiting condition, and the only way we can maintain insurance coverage is through a group...if we tried to get it on our own, we would be denied or with Obamacare, we might be able to get it, but rates are sky high. There’s no way in the world I could get more life insurance (fortunately had the foresight to get it before I was diagnosed.

13 posted on 03/18/2013 5:44:11 AM PDT by memyselfandi59
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To: Catechuman

“Biometric” sounds ominous, like they are collecting your DNA info. But it is usually just ordinary, very basic info like blood pressure.

If the employer does not see the info (and it is unlikely that they will), then it is not a big deal, in my opinion. I would go ahead and do it.

If a “biometric screening” identifies any issues, do your own research before you let a doctor talk you into any therapy.

14 posted on 03/18/2013 6:17:59 AM PDT by UnwashedPeasant
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To: Catechuman

I have to do that with my company. It drops my monthly premium by over $120. If there are flags (cholesterol, weight, smoking, etc) then there are monthly coaching sessions with a health coach. The truth is, they will have all that info from when you last went to the Dr. Welcome to modern health insurance.

15 posted on 03/18/2013 6:42:19 AM PDT by ibheath
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To: phockthis
“voluntary compliance”....Google it


If by “voluntary compliance” you mean to say that I can “voluntarily” work or conversely “voluntarily” chose not to work for a company that has a “wellness initiative”; one that charges higher premiums for those who do not participate or “voluntarily” work for a company that chooses not to institute a discount or penalty or even not offer any health benefits at all – you are correct.

Or if a company, such as a tobacco shop chooses to hire only smokers or if a company like a hospital or doctors’ office or a smoking cessation clinic chooses to hire only non-smokers, they should be allowed to do so, or for that matter, a fitness center that doesn’t want to hire overweight fitness instructors.

Or if a company requires a Bachelors degree or MBA or PhD. or a licensure plus many years of prior experience for certain positions not otherwise legally mandated, or for that matter, a company that may waive those requirements where not legally required to do so based on prior work experience alone.

Or a company that may refuse employment based on a criminal background or a credit check where the employee may be handling large sums of cash or sensitive client information for instance. Or a company that refuses to hire as a delivery driver, someone who has had multiple DWI’s and or multiple moving violations on their driving record.

Or a religious institution may refuse employment to non-religionists if their job requires them to teach religion or otherwise requires them to adhere to a “moral” code of ethics, etc. and that I can “voluntarily” chose not to work for any such company or institution that imposes any religion or morals or ethics or for that matter, a political POV that I may not agree with.

Or that I may “voluntarily” refuse to take a job that requires me to join a union or for that matter force a company to only hire union workers.

That a restaurant chain like Hooters should be allowed to not have to hire a servers who are grossly overweight and unattractive women or gay men because hiring them doesn’t fit their business model or for that matter that a restaurant who wants to hire grossly overweight and unattractive servers or gay men because they think that good service is more important to their business model than the “female sexiness” of their servers, they should be allowed to do so

  Yes the employee/employer relationship should be voluntary. It is or should be a two way street for both the employer and the employee.

The government should not mandate who a company can or should be forced to hire nor should I be forced to work for a company that I don’t want to work for. That is “voluntary compliance” IMO. Of course if you are talking about the government mandating what the company I choose to work for, one who chooses to hire me with respect to what the company has to offer me in terms benefits and what I am forced by the government to accept, you are correct. That is not “voluntary compliance” – that is government coercion.

16 posted on 03/18/2013 7:52:39 AM PDT by MD Expat in PA
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To: MD Expat in PA

Learn the difference between “Common Law” which is the Supreme law of the land and “Statutory Law” which is for 14th amendment “US citizens”

17 posted on 03/18/2013 8:24:02 AM PDT by phockthis ( ...)
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