CVS employees to face $50 charge if they don’t reveal their weights each month

CVS Policy

Beginning in May, health-insured CVS employees will be required to reveal their weights, body fat and glucose levels. Noncompliant employees’ medical charges will increase by $600 per year. 

“Going forward, you’ll be expected not just to know your numbers — but also to take action to manage them,” the CVS policy states. 

To kick off the program, employees at America’s largest pharmacy chain must participate in a WebMD Wellness Review before May 1. Their blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass and body weight results will go directly to the insurance company. CVS claims the results will be confidential and the company will never have access to the records.

CVS is also using similar methods to encourage employees to cease smoking. However, Today reported resistant smokers can avoid charges if they are deemed healthy in other categories.

Although the policies were likely created with good intentions, CVS is already coming under fire.

Dr. Deborah Peel, the founder of Patient Privacy Rights, told the Boston Herald the policy was discriminatory in nature.

“Rising health care costs are killing the economy, and businesses are terrified,” she said. “Now, we’re all in this terrible situation where employers are desperate to get rid of workers who have costly health conditions, like obesity and diabetes.”

During the recession, employers have become increasingly threatened by insurance costs. Previously, companies have incentivized employees to lose weight or improve health. For example, Jezebel reported in 2010 that Whole Foods offered steeper store discounts to employees with lower BMIs.

In contrast to Whole Foods’ policy, which didn’t negatively affect any employees, Peel said the CVS plan is coercive.

“How is it voluntary if you are a low- or medium- wage person?” she said of the $600 charge.

For now, CVS is standing by the controversial policy.

“Our benefits program is evolving to help our colleagues take more responsibility for improving their health and managing health-associated costs,” explained CVS spokesman Michael D’Angelis in an email to the Boston Herald.

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