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Health insurance on the line at CVS

OKLAHOMA CITY – CVS is under scrutiny now that it’s more than 200,000 employees will see a big change in the way they get health insurance.

The company said if workers want it, they have to go to the doctor and submit their weight, body fat and glucose levels.

If they don’t they will have to pay $600 a year more for coverage.

“That’s a joke, that doesn’t make sense at all,” Walker Long, Jr. said.

“I don’t really think it’s fair,” Cindy Mossman said. “I was a single mother for a long time and there are lots of people who can’t afford to pay a fine or go to the doctor.”

Mossman manages an interior design business.

She said she couldn’t imaging asking employees to show a health check.

“Unless we were basically forced to by law or by the insurance company,” Mossman said.

However, CVS emailed us a statement saying the policy aims “…to help employees to be as healthy as they can be…”

The company said the $600 yearly penalty is “…the most effective way to incent our colleagues to improve their health care and manage health costs.”

“They may want a healthier workforce but they’re going about it in a destructive way that really offends people and violates their privacy,” Dr. Deborah Peel said.

CVS said the screenings are for the workers’ benefit and that it won’t see the information.

Still, local critics said the fee to get healthy will hurt CVS in the end.

“If my job were to do something like that, it would be really difficult for me to stay,” Long said.

“It might be hard for them to find people to work for them,” Mossman said.

As of now, workers have until May 2014 to get a check up.

CVS sent us this statement on their health insurance changes:

“We want to help our employees to be as healthy as they can be, which is why we decided to implement this plan. In fact, we have been working for a number of years on ways they can improve their health through preventive measures. Health care programs that incent employees to be healthier are not new. Many companies around the country already have plans similar to the one we are implementing. In fact, 79 percent of large employers* have health assessments incorporated into their programs. To encourage a higher level of participation in our wellness review, we reviewed best practices and determined that an additional cost for those who do not complete the review was the most effective way to incent our colleagues to improve their health care and manage health costs.

CVS Caremark is committed to providing medical coverage and health care programs for our colleagues and privacy is rigorously protected, consistent with HIPAA regulations. All personal health data from these screenings are collected and reviewed by a third party administrator that supports the CVS Caremark Wellness Program and this data is not shared with CVS Caremark – rather it is designed to help employees make the best decisions about their own health care.”