CVS to Workers: Disclose Weight or Pay $600 Fine
Privacy group cries foul
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Mar 21, 2013 1:32 PM CDT
In this Feb 7, 2012 file photo, pedestrians walk pass a CVS store in Chicago.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

(Newser) – CVS has touched a nerve with a new policy requiring workers to disclose a host of health data—including their weight, body fat and glucose levels, and blood pressure—or else pay an extra $50 a month for their health insurance. The move has drawn outrage from at least one national privacy group, the Boston Herald reports. "This is an incredibly coercive and invasive thing to ask employees to do," the founder of Patient Privacy Rights told the paper.

CVS refers to the policy as "a health screening and wellness review," and emphasizes that it won't have access to the information, which will go straight to its health insurance provider. It's also offering to pay for all necessary screenings. But Think Progress argues that the policy is unfair to lower-income workers, who can't afford to pay $600 a year to opt-out if they feel their privacy is being invaded. Fox News, meanwhile, sees this as an early consequence of ObamaCare—and a lawyer tells the network it's perfectly legal.

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Showing 3 of 106 comments
captainhurt
Mar 31, 2013 11:44 AM CDT
LIKE smoking and skydiving, UNLIKE color or age, weight is a controllable factor, and therefore fair to give incentives to voluntarily avoid health risks. Insurance discounts are not only legal, but common for "i dont smoke" pledges, health training/checkups, and reduced automobile use. Its about time that voluntary weight control were given incentives vs dis-incentives for obese fatties.
right2dave
Mar 25, 2013 2:23 PM CDT
Anything corporate America can get away with to save a buck.
plain_speaking
Mar 23, 2013 7:58 AM CDT
In car insurance, you pay according to your age and driving record...you get discounts if you don't drive much. If you cost the ins company more because of your choices (it is difficult to be overweight...it is difficult to lose weight....choose one)...shouldn't you pay more? Over weight people cost more....they should pay more....or get healthy.... Obesity is often rooted in emotional issues...lots of denial...lots of "I can't help it"...lots of excuses for the addictive behavior....perhaps the ins companies should increase the mental health services for overweight people and provide a solution....OR .maybe this would be more palatable if people living healthfully got discounts.