Skip to comments.Firms dock pay of obese, smokers
Posted on 08/12/2007 10:47:36 PM PDT by melt
Companies seeking to cut rising health care costs are starting to dock the pay of overweight and unhealthy workers.
Clarian Health, an Indiana hospital chain, will require workers who smoke to pay $5 out of each paycheck starting in 2009. For workers deemed obese, as much as $30 will be taken out each paycheck until they meet certain weight, cholesterol and blood pressure standards.
Clarian employees will also be required to take part in a health risk appraisal that will inform the company which employees smoke.
Such appraisals are becoming a popular tool for businesses to determine the health of their work force. The type of health benefit program Clarian is setting up could become a model for businesses in coming years, analysts say.
"We anticipate that more employers will require employees to complete a health risk appraisal and participate in screenings," said Tracy Watts, a health benefits consultant for Mercer Human Resource Consulting. "We also are seeing more interest in rewards for healthy behaviors such as participating in health management-related programs and for healthy behaviors such as not using tobacco products."
A survey of nearly 3,000 employers last year by Mercer found that 53 percent required a health risk assessment of its workers. That number is up from 35 percent in 2004.
And 62 percent of the 135 top executives who responded to a PriceWaterhouseCooper's survey this year said their companies should require employees who show unhealthy behaviors to pay a greater share of their health care costs.
Weyco, a Lansing, Mich., benefits administrator, recently adopted a policy to completely eliminate tobacco use from its work force. In 2003, the company introduced a policy of not hiring tobacco users and began offering smoking-cessation programs to employees, who were given a year to quit.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
It's discrimination, man...
Just a guess but I would think someone will sue this company if they get docked for smoking or being fat. This IS discrimination at it's finest.
What about politically correct groups who define themselves by their unhealthy behaviors? Crickets chirping...
What about all those fat liberals in birkenstocks that don’t work????
>>>What about politically correct groups who define themselves by their unhealthy behaviors? Crickets chirping...<<<
Thinkin’ Gal has indeed been thinking...
are they going to be docked?...
what about alcoholics?...what about people that pop pain pills constantly?...what about people that are promiscuous?....should we be checking their shorts?
Anyone with those factors will be SOL.
We give them a PARADE!
What about people who sleep around?
Yes. Hysterectomies and AIDs cases are expensive enough.
I have no love for trial lawyers, but I would sue a firm in a New York minute if they tried to dock my wages for this!
I suppose that soon they will be checking your DNA to see if you have cancer based genes or diabetes genes .. and charge you more based on your *potential* risk. Some people could become uninsurable and unemployable for nothing more than their genetic code.
So what do we do about it? I know .. we pass some laws protecting lousy genes. You think we should grant them minority status? What do I say? keep your laws off my jeans!! hehe
Sorry folks .. it's late and I'm getting giddy.
Watch for this in the future because this will become a trend among businesses. Bottom line they are pushing for a nationalized health care system with their employees clamoring for it. Smokers, fat people, it isn’t going to end with these groups.
Sounds like the perfect situation for an employer. Make the job as stressful as possible, then dock the worker when his blood pressure goes up.
I bet the looney lefties, that are outraged by government eavesdropping on foreigners, are perfectly accepting of this outrage.
Interesting. Obese people could have 6 times the amount withheld. Funny, I don't remember hearing about the "evils" of being obese on the MSM.
A national tax on potato chips, I say...
My company, a Fortune 500, has a surcharge in place already for workers who use tobacco. It costs an extra $30 a month for health insurance so it doesn't look like a dock, but they already are docking pay in many companies for tobacco. We had a health risk assessment this year that was voluntary and tied to a slight discount. Talk is, it'll be mandatory within two years. So far, no lawsuits, and I don't think we'll see one soon.
The real solution is take away the tax break for employer provided health insurance and let the employees take care of their own insurance/health care needs.
Health insurance through an employer has seriously distorted the entire health care industry which all came about because it isn’t taxed. A self employed person has to pay tax on their health insurance. Level the playing field and get employers out of the health care business.
What a total joke!
So no health tax on the coke snorters in the boardroom?
I’ve not ever made a claim on health insurance in my 22 working years, and cross my fingers that my good fortune stands up. I can’t think of anyone who smokes in my company having cost money directly from their smoking, but I know I’ve paid a boatload of money for other people’s kids, hypochondriac idiots who go to the doc at first sniffle, and weekend athletes.
He who pays the fiddler calls the tune. The only alternative is to get the goobermint involved and that can't be good for any of us. I've moved to the high-deductible plan with an HSA.
What's to stop them from raising everyone's health insurance through the proverbial roof, then offering a very steep discount for an assesment? That wouldn't be "mandatory" but would almost guarantee adherence.
I have other experiences with smokers, hyper tension, and all the rest of the stuff. The bigger the group, the lower the health insurance should be but it just keeps going up and up. It keeps the doctors as happy members of the local golf and yacht clubs. They earn it but it is a fact of life.
So what do you think is going to happen? The government is going to get involved anyway, they will be the ones to insure all the "high risk" people under the guise of providing equal health care for all when the corps no longer will. The companies want to say we provide health insurance BUT they don't want to pay in. You can bet that any money saved will not go back into wages but into fat cats pockets. For certain your taxes will be raised to pay for all of this.
I heard once that the most significant portion of what this country spends on health is extending the life of people by 2 to 3 weeks that are terminally ill, taking extraordinary measures. I wonder if that's true.
I wonder if smoking would cancel out a Parkinsons gene, since smokers for some reason don't get Parkinsons as much as non-smokers.
I bet most of America didn’t know Barak smokes. Hey I don’t care that he does. I smoked for many many years. I just quit, in fact, 30 days ago today.
The line I like, "Do I have another drink today or have another three days in a convalescent home when I am 91 and drooling or sleeping all day long?"
The answer is obvious.
Bottoms up 8-)
What about a guy like me, in the 30 years I worked at this job I used my insurance twice, both times when my kids were born, the bills were about 5k each. I also smoked for 40 years. A guy I work with with is a "health nut" has been in for two torn rotators and for arthroscopic surgery for each knee and one TKA (total knee arthroplasty) i.e. kneecap replacement. This cost 10's of thousands of dollars. Now that he is older he is talking total hip. So he the proverbial 6 million dollar man who can never pay back what he used is going to get cheap insurance while me the "high risk" guy who paid many times over what he used is going to pay through the nose.
Does it matter why you’re fat (not saying you are)? If being fat is a health risk its a health risk. Insurance is supposed to be based on risk assessment. Low risk, low rate, high risk, high rate.
In today’s world the employer is the customer to the health insurance company not the employee. The employee just becomes something to be dealt with with the least grief on both sides. Not a healthy arrangement...
The problem started when you were no longer the customer to be served.
That too, back before this HMO stuff my Doc’s price was clearly posted, pay it or leave. Then the insurance companies started covering Doctor visits, he still charged full price + paperwork costs for insurance filing. Then the “Health Networks” came and they told him you join us or you get no patients that are in our network, which in this blue collar town at the time meant most everybody. So then he could only charge 10 bucks to the patient and had to go to the insurance company for the rest. It wasn’t bad though his business tripled with whiney patients who thought a 10 buck trip to the docs was more fun than going to the movies.
No, no they need “Romney Care”
“Fat people got no reason.....fat people got no reason...
Don’t want no fat people.....don’t want no fat people round here....”
Are they going to dock the pay of homosexuals? How about those who have a few drinks after work? There are infinite ways for meddling do gooders to punish any behavior they don’t agree with.
Health insurance for a self-emplyed person is 100% deductable of the general tax on the 1040 form but you still pay the 15%+- fica on it because it cannot be deducted as a business expense.
“It’s discrimination, man...”
I think he’ld be right. I would like to apply certain mental health criteria at my place, like finding a way to screen out the neurotic impulse that motivates control-freaks.
I have seen insurance companies go both ways on considering people “high risk”. On one hand people with the risk factors of weight, blood pressure, and lipids. On the other hand people who are extremely fit were considered “high risk” by the same company - anyone who did more than the lowest common denominator health club routine. One company even considered anyone who bicycled more than 75 miles per week to be “high risk” on the grounds of “excessive exercise”.
Ha, they would cut the payroll in half here. I swear 90% of the women here are overweight, and many of them smoke as well. Make that 95% now that I think about it. I can count the fit girls on one hand. The guys run about 50% and only a few smoke.
Nanny state Pingeroo!!!!!!!!!
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