September 2, 2007

Company charges extra for obesity

"If you're too heavy, then we are going to charge you more."

That's the message at least one company is telling its employees.

From "Like a growing number of companies, Clarian Health Partners has for a number of years had a program that rewards employees for getting healthy. But now, Clarian is telling its workers, it's time to shape up or pay up."

“For several years, we’ve had a reward program, where if you cease smoking and do a self-assessment, you receive a reduction in your [health care] premiums,” Clarian president and CEO Daniel Evans told TODAY co-host Matt Lauer on Friday. "[But] our health care costs were going up and our employees were not taking full advantage of the programs we had in place.”

To combat the problem, beginning in 2009 Clarian employees will be charged up to $30 every two weeks for failing to meet standards set by the company in a number of areas. That breaks down to $10 for a body mass index that’s too high, and $5 each for smoking, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure.

It's only a matter of time before all companies look to offset the increased costs of health care for obese employees. Now is the time for the restaurant industry to get in line with helping people to get fit, not the other way around.

1 comment:

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