Monday, August 13, 2007

Firms dock pay of obese, smokers
By Gregory Lopes
August 13, 2007

Companies seeking to cut rising health care costs are starting to dock the pay of overweight and unhealthy workers.

Clarian Health, an Indiana hospital chain, will require workers who smoke to pay $5 out of each paycheck starting in 2009. For workers deemed obese, as much as $30 will be taken out each paycheck until they meet certain weight, cholesterol and blood pressure standards.

Clarian employees will also be required to take part in a health risk appraisal that will inform the company which employees smoke.

Such appraisals are becoming a popular tool for businesses to determine the health of their work force. The type of health benefit program Clarian is setting up could become a model for businesses in coming years, analysts say.
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