Stay Healthy at Work — Or Lose Your Health Benefit?
How would you feel if your employer gave you this ultimatum: get a medical check-up within one year or lose your health insurance? That’s what AmeriGas Propane Inc., a nationwide propane distributor based in Valley Forge., Pa. did last year. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company took the action because voluntary wellness programs didn’t work.
Now, employees must get physical exams, blood-pressure checks and cholesterol and blood-sugar tests. Women: Pap smears and mammograms for those 40 and older.
Employees and covered spouses have a year to complete the tests, which are covered 100%, or lose their insurance. They must get checkups every two years to keep health benefits.
AmeriGas is among a handful of companies that now require health testing, but experts told the newspaper that it is at the cutting edge of a growing trend. In a February survey by consulting firm Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby Inc. 45% of companies said they planned to, or were considering, adding penalties for employees who didn’t participate in wellness activities.
Is this fair? How would you feel if you had one year to get a check-up — or else?