Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More on wellness plans

The other day I wrote about employer wellness plans crossing the fine line between voluntary and forced.  Today NPR had another article on these wellness plans:

Wellness At Work Often Comes With Strings Attached

This seems to be mostly more of the same.  Any wellness program at all is a slippery slope, because a financial incentive if you do the screening looks just a financial penalty if you don't, when viewed from the other side.

But there was one thing in particular that I thought worthy of noting on my diabetes blog...

Meanwhile, the federal government is divided on how to regulate this area. The Affordable Care Act embraces the wellness concept. It lets employers link up to 30 percent of premiums to participation in wellness activities — and up to 50 percent if those activities involve quitting tobacco.

But the independent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing several companies, including Honeywell, with its more than 130,000 workers. It says their programs discriminate against those with disabilities.

The discriminating against people with disabilities part is, of course, what i am concerned about.  I was definitely concerned about this the first time my husband came home and told me that we were going to have to do yearly health screening in order to qualify for the wellness discount.  So far there haven't been any penalties assessed for my being "unhealthy" since I am diabetic (as if that's my fault), but from the beginning I have been concerned that the insurance companies are just trying to find a way around no longer being able to charge people more for pre-existing conditions.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out...

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