It has been estimated that 50% to 60% of money that is spent to address health issues is spent on conditions that could be improved with stress management, diet and exercise. CVS Caremark came under fire when they seemingly coped an attitude of, “Why pay when people get ill? If they had just exercised and dieted all of these health issues could have been avoided.” So seems to be the approach of the Affordable Care Act Obesity Penalty (Obamacare).
A policy meant to lift the burden from the uninsured and offer affordable healthcare options states that people who are overweight or obese will be penalized for their condition.
Obamacare Penalizes Overweight Employees
All of us seem to have some story about battling with a health insurance company. If you do not have such a story and are seeking bariatric surgery, chances are you will have one soon enough. Insurance approvals for bariatric surgery can be difficult.
Things have gotten better, but to say they have gotten “good” may be premature. I believe that the Affordable Care Act is a step in a better direction, but what if you are overweight or obese?
The letter states that employees who do not report their cholesterol, body fat, sugar and weight… will be penalized $600.00.
The answer is simple enough although hardly acceptable. A policy meant to lift the burden from the uninsured and offer affordable healthcare options states that people who are overweight or obese will be penalized for their condition. Whereas most Americans are either overweight or obese, the Affordable Care Act Obesity Penalty obviously needs some work.
Affordable Care Act Obesity Penalty “Fat Fines”
Employers now have the option to penalize employees who are overweight or obese. Monetary penalties increased as much as 30% of health care premiums. Prior penalties were capped at 20%.
CVS Caremark to Fine Workers Who Refuse to Report their Weight, Body Fat, Cholesterol, and Sugar
CVS Caremark distributed a letter to employees who participate in the health care program offered by the company. The letter states that employees who do not report their cholesterol, body fat, sugar and weight to WebMD Health Services Group from a yearly health screen will be penalized $600.00. A deadline was given to submit the information. The company also made revisions to their healthcare policy advising smokers to either attempt to quit or to enroll in a tobacco cessation program.
The stated goal is to encourage employees to practice healthy behaviors, but many people are concerned about beginning a new trend in the workplace. The founder of Patient Privacy Rights has expressed concerns because she believes many employees are focused on getting rid of employees who have high-end health issues. In addition, the Downy Obesity Report points out that programs meant to address weight loss through the use of penalties are ineffective.
Better Option to Fight Fat
Many experts agree that the better way to enhance employee weight loss success is with social rewards-based programs that offer gaming applications, building healthy habits through nutrition, and fitness education in a team atmosphere. Add to that, wellness programs that encourage healthy lifestyles based on goals that are fun and attainable. Such ambitions seem superior to the Affordable Care Act Obesity Penalty.
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life
Photo: Gilles Mingasson/Observer.com