Your bad habits may cost you: companies want workers who smoke, eat too much, to pay more in health care

Do you smoke?

Are you overweight?

Do you ave high cholesterol?

If so, your employer might want you to cover a bigger portion of your company’s health care tab.

Why not, goes the thinking: you’re unhealthy lifestyle is responsible for higher medical costs. So pay the price.

The concept marks a shift, it seems: Used to be that companies rewarded employees who maintained good health and were, therefore, a better health risk. Now, employees who make for a greater risk are being penalized.

According to this article in The New York Times:

“Policies that impose financial penalties on employees have doubled in the last two years to 19 percent of 248 major American employers recently surveyed. Next year, Towers Watson, the benefits consultant that conducted the survey, said the practice — among employers with at least 1,000 workers — was expected to double again.”

So, put away those smokes, and push back from the dinner table.

2 comments Add your comment


November 17th, 2011
10:43 am

fat, unhealthy smoker types should pay more in insurance??? surely you can’t be serious! That’s politically incorrect and “insensitive.”

Road Scholar

November 18th, 2011
8:46 am

My healthcare offers a regular and a wellness program for each healthcare company policies, in addition to a smokers surcharge. The wellness is suppose to monitor your health and difficiencies to gauge whether you get lower premiums based on your progress in addressing those difficiencies.