More and more employers are implementing wellness programs in an attempt to contain health care costs. CVS Caremark has recently made headlines for requiring all of its employees to undergo a health screening or pay an additional $50 per month for health coverage.
The required health screening evaluates weight, blood glucose level, cholesterol and body fat. The exam is paid by CVS, and the results are tabulated by a third party provider. CVS Caremark does not receive individual results, but does receive aggregate information about the wellness of its employees.
Information obtained through wellness programs is intended to be used by the employer to implement programs encouraging healthy employees, and keep health care costs under control. For example, based on the results, the employer may wish to offer nutritional counseling programs or seminars on weight loss. Healthier employees help productivity and also encounter fewer health care expenses.
Employers considering wellness programs should be sure that the program complies with HIPAA and the Americans with Disability Act.