Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday Thoughts...

Yesterday at work, I was reading an article on the new polices that CVS is trying to put into effect for their employees.  They are hoping to soon to make it mandatory for each employee get a physical and report their weight, BMI, blood work (including glucose and cholesterol levels).  If the employee refuses to do so, they must pay $50 a month penalty, resulting in $600 a year.  CVS said this type of mandate makes their employees healthier, and therefore lowers health insurance rates, and their employees will be less sick, and more able to work.  

That got me thinking...

Is that right?  Can they make them do that?  

Then later yesterday when I was on the treadmill doing speed work, the news was talking about how 2/3 of Americans are obese.  That's a little over 66% of America!  We are all aware of how unhealthy Americans are, and how childhood obesity is on the rise.  We live a different lifestyle than just 20 years ago.  

So that got me thinking too....

Is is wrong for employers to mandate health screens?  I don't think so.  Insurance is constantly on the rise.  I know we personally pay a little over $500 a month for health insurance alone.  We are pretty healthy people.  It pains me sometimes to see how much we pay.  We go for our check ups and blood work each year, and we live a very active lifestyle.  If it would mean I'd get a lower insurance rate than a person that weighs 350 lbs, and has no desire at all to get healthy, then I'd do it.  I'd be all for letting my employer see that not only am I healthy on the outside, I'm healthy on the inside.  

And then that got me thinking....

If they strictly go by BMI, I'm classified at "overweight".  I always have been.  It's no secret I weigh way more than a typical woman that wears the same size as me.  My doctor has never been concerned, and has told me on countless occasions, I'm VERY healthy.  He always says to me, "Michele, you are solid, you have a lot of muscle mass for a woman, you should be proud!"  He always goes on to say I burn more fat than most women because of the muscle mass, and I'm less likely to get osteoporosis later in life.  But I wonder, would I be charged extra because it looks like (on paper) I'm about 15 lbs overweight?   

Another example, a local hospital here publicly states they will not hire anyone who smokes.  They actually do a test once you've been accepted for a position.  If you fail, they won't hire you, but you can apply again in 6 months, but you still have to pass the nicotine test (along with the typical drug screen).  Just two years ago this "rule" went into effect.  People made a HUGE deal of it.  They offered current employees that smoked information and packages including medication to help them stop (at no cost to the employee!!!)  They are now a smoke free hospital.  Completely.  That makes me feel good, because as a non-smoker, I sure as hell don't want a stinky smoke smelling nurse taking care of me!!

They do it for the military.  When my husband was in, I remember you had to be a certain weight, and pass all PT tests.  This is what I pulled from the internet...

"Soldiers who fail any portion of the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test) must re-take the entire APFT within three months (unless they have an approved medical profile). Soldiers who fail the APFT are flagged in accordance with Suspension of Favorable Personnel Actions. Individuals who are flagged for APFT failure are not eligibile for promotion, reenlistment or enlistment extension"

You can look at the entire article here if interested.

So basically what happens is that you cannot get promoted if you do not pass.  Is that wrong?  Nope.  And just so you know, when my husband was in the military, our insurance didn't cost much, and we had the best coverage we've ever had.  Just sayin'.  

So what are your thoughts on this?  Do you think this is a good idea?  Do you think health screens should be mandated? 

I think they should.  But I also think it should be the same across the board.  America really needs to step up and get a handle on this obesity thing.  It's going to kill millions of people and end up costing us trillions of dollars.  (probably more, but I don't know what comes after trillion....)

BTW, not sure what happened when I wrote this blog, it looks weird, but I'm just going to go with it...

1 comment:

  1. I'm all for it! Especially if it means a lower insurance premium for me!