Pharmacy takes a little too much interest in your health

by Rose Sneyd22 Mar 2013

If you’ve faltered in your ambitious New Year’s resolution to trim excess body fat, then you can count yourself lucky that you don’t work for this American company.

A large US pharmacy chain has asked employees on its health insurance plan to disclose their height, weight, body fat, blood pressure, and – get this – glucose levels to their provider, the Boston Herald reported.

CVS Caremark employees apparently have until May 1 to ask a doctor to determine these metrics for them. And while it may seem a tad invasive, at least CVS has offered to foot the bill for the doctor’s visit.

Those employees who refuse to participate in what the company has dubbed their ‘wellness review’ will be forced to pay an annual penalty of $600. Nonetheless, the company insists that the program is voluntary.

President Obama’s health care reform could make these sorts of reviews more common, according to the Huffington Post. “The health care reform law allows employers to levy a higher penalty against workers who don’t participate in company wellness programs,” they reported. Employees may even be penalised for not meeting specific targets like an appropriate body mass index!

A CVS spokesperson, Michael DeAngelis, told the Boston Herald that the company will not have access to that health information; only the health insurance provider will. “Our benefits program is evolving to help our colleagues engage more actively to improve their health and manage health-associated costs,” DeAngelis wrote in an email. He described the wellness review as an ‘initial step’ to help employees gain a better understanding of their health, and how to improve it.