Should unhealthy employees face health insurance hike?

smoker

Clipart.com

Last year, we had a heated discussion about Alabama’s controversial move to charge its overweight state employees essentially a fat fee, an additional monetary amount added to the employee’s health insurance premiums. Now the issue has moved closer to home, with the City of Kennesaw proposing to increase the cost of medical insurance premiums if city employees defined as “high-risk” don’t participate in a wellness program.

That premium increase could ultimately double the amount city of Kennesaw employees currently pay. A wellness consultant would identify those as high-risk of health complications, including tobacco users and some overweight employees. Kennesaw dropped traditional health insurance coverage about four years ago and went with a self-funded model.

Kennesaw’s mayor says so far no employees have complained about the new proposal. Do you think employers should have the right to charge employees who they determine to be “unhealthy” more for health insurance premiums or is this just blatant discrimination?

2 comments Add your comment

BigJake

February 20th, 2009
3:34 pm

I agree with employers making those that will burden the entire program through their own habits that increase their dependence on insurance. I firmly believe imposing additional costs on smokers makes sense, and on the weight issue, as long as it is related to health issues, and not on actual weight alone, it makes sense. Some people carry extra weight, but otherwise have normal cholesterol and blood pressure, and should not be targeted.

RenaeV

March 2nd, 2009
6:11 pm

I definitely agree that employees considered “unhealthy” should pay a premium. Perhaps this will provide additional incentive to individuals to adopt a healthier lifestyle.