Employer Assessing $100/Month Surcharge for Insurance, Unless….

Our University notified us yesterday through a news article that “As part of a strategic plan to better control health care costs, officials in the Office of Human Resources have announced a wellness-focused initiative starting in July. To avoid paying a $100/month surcharge beginning in January, employees will need to complete steps of the Take Care of Your Health Initiative.”

These steps include:

  • Complete an online wellness profile (asking weight, height, health history, BP, and other lab results)
  • Preventive physical exam by November 22nd
  • Complete a biometric screening (full lipid profile, glucose, BMI, waist, blood pressure)

They say that the results are confidential and are purely to give you knowledge about your current health status. You will not be penalized for any results (dropped from insurance or raising your contribution).

I’m curious to hear what everyone’s thoughts are on something like this. Does your employer do something similar already? 

I guess I have mixed feelings. I think it’s great to start initiative that promotes health and wellness. I think prevention is very important and would certainly reduce health care costs. I guess my issue with this initiative is that there is a punishment for not participating, but no true incentive for actually improving your health. You can complete these steps, get the information, and then do nothing with it.

Admittedly, improved health should be the only incentive people need – but we all know that it isn’t that simple, right? There are other factors at play for why a lot of people have major weight/health issues. Personally, I know that there was nothing that anybody could have said to me to get me on the track to a healthier life. It wasn’t until last November that I truly felt like I had enough and was willing to make the change. I was the one that had to decide I didn’t want to live like this anymore. A screening would not have made me take the initiative… I had to decide to change on my own.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out! Thankfully, I have been “Taking Charge of My Health” since November and have already completed two of these three steps. I’m already signed up for the screening on the 24th and I know my numbers will be even better than they were before – even if the online profile is telling me how unhealthy I am lol!

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6 thoughts on “Employer Assessing $100/Month Surcharge for Insurance, Unless….

  1. My employer does not do anything like this but it does not surprise me that yours is. I would not be surprised if more employers did something like this under the guise of controlling healthcare costs because of full implementation of ACA (I refuse to call it “Obamacare.”). I know that my insurance coverage premiums dropped for the upcoming benefit year but that my deductible and out of pocket max both DOUBLED (from $1200 to $2400 and from $2000 to $4000, respectively). So I am glad I chose to have surgery when I did…the timing could not have been more perfect.

    As for the punitive portion of it…sometimes you have to hit people where it hurts to get them to change habits. Unfortunately for a lot of us that’s the pocketbook. And as awful as that sounds, money is a powerful motivator for many people. I know for me, it is one of the things that motivated me to get my health in order because my medications were costing more, clothes were costing more, food was costing more, and I was tired of the rising cost.

    • Sorry to hear that your healthcare has gone up! :/

      I think what bothers me is that I don’t feel as though this approach is motivating. Sure, people are motivated to get the screening and submit their information online to avoid the extra cost, but after that they can just continue to ignore their health like may have in the past.

      If this had come up a year ago, I would have been one of those people. I wouldn’t have changed until *I* had decided enough is enough. I guess I just question whether or not this plan is truly going to motivate? Only time will tell – it’s definitely interesting!

      • Our deductibles and such are increasing because last year there were a handful of people who filed claims of over $1M–one person filed a claim for over $3.5M.

        Now will the plan your employer is putting in place truly motivate people? Who knows? Sometimes people are content to allow money to be sucked out of their pockets because it’s easier than making a change to their health, which requires a lot of soul searching and real work as you and I both know!

  2. My husband’s employer introduced mandatory biometric screening this year; I went for mine maybe a month after my VSG surgery. That initial screening actually wasn’t the mandatory one–that comes in November and I guess the compare the first and second results or something? Or maybe the first, non-mandatory, screening is just to give a heads-up and a few months to get our acts together before the big one in November.

    If our results are “bad” in November, we will be charged extra. I think this is ludicrous and punitive and will have the opposite intended effect. If this had happened a couple years ago, before I was serious about wls and my health and whatever, I would have been driven to actual-no-kidding DESPAIR over the prospect of being charged extra for being fat/having the “wrong” values on their tests/etc.

  3. My company insurance implemented biometric screening two years ago. For me personally, it does nothing to motivate me. As a matter of fact, it is quite simple to fudge the numbers. I entered correct info since I know that it is confidential but again, it has done absolutely nothing to motivate me to change. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Hopefully others have been motivated by it. What has motivated me to look into WLS is that I am at my heaviest weight ever and I my blood pressure is climbing. I want to be here for my kids. It took me a long time to be blessed with children and they mean everything to me, along with my hubby. I owe it to myself and to them to be the best person I can be. It certainly wasn’t a biometric screening that put me in this mindset. That does not mean that it isn’t helpful to others though.

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