Required Health Screening

Can my employer ask me to undergo a health screening, and charge me if I refuse?

“As a part of its administration of its benefits plan, yes, it can. CVS Pharmacy has initiated a policy of having its employees who are on its health insurance plan to have a doctor chart the employees’ weight, height, body fat, blood pressure, glucose, and blood lipid levels. If an employee refuses, his insurance premiums will be $50 more expensive each month.
From an employment law perspective, the worry is that this data will be used for purposes other than adjusting health insurance premiums, for example, to discriminate against workers who may need accommodations for disabilities such as diabetes. Privacy advocates also worry that the data will not be kept secure. However, since employees participating in the company’s plan agree to share some such data, the level of protection for these employees is uncertain.

There are, of course, alternate ways to encourage employees to stay healthy and help to keep healthcare costs down, such as exercise incentive programs and challenges. These activities can be fun and build morale instead of alienating employees and making them suspicious.”

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