Nearly 200,000 CVS employees who use the company health plan are now being required to provide medical information or be forced to pay a penalty.
Workers will receive a health screening to give their height, weight, blood pressure and more. If they decline to be part of the new program the employee will pay an extra $50 a month for healthcare.
Critics of the new policy worry this could lead to firing people who are sick.
“It’s technology enhanced discrimination on steroids,” patient advocate Dr. Debora Peele said. “The approach they’re taking is based on the assumption that somehow these people need a whip, they need to be penalized in order to make themselves healthy.”
CVS says the program is voluntary and that the company doesn’t see the test results and the program is meant to help employees take more responsibility for their health.
“They’re recognizing that the more that they can encourage their own employees to lead healthier life styles with exercise and regular physician visits the healthier the whole company is,” Dr. Charity Thoman from the Santa Barbara County Health Department said.
But critics say it’s not voluntary if you have to pay $600 a year if you choose not to participate.
The new program will take effect in May.