yes potentially a legal activity at least up until the passage of the recent health care reform package. It remains unclear if group plans can charge different rates based on health conditions. Remember there are two parts of the health insurance rate. The total rate is that which is charged to all participants. the rate you pay is the amount of the rate minus the employers subsidy. We know or at least we think we know that different total rates cannot be charged based on health issues. what is unclear is if different rates can be charged on the basis of health outcomes. The court will take this up in force shortly I expect.
the difference here is that the penalty for non compliance is not health related. The charge is not being assessed based on a person's health, the extra charge is both universal inside the plan and it is independent of the health of the individual. well people who refuse the tests will be charged more just like unwell people. We believe we know this is perfectly legal.
Again the courts will certainly work out the question of health related charges inside health plans. If I had to guess based on health care reform I would guess illness will not be allowed to charge differentiated rates based on illness. We do knwo that prior to passage of the health care reform legislation such differentiated rates were perfectly legal and in some cases employers imposed them. This is shocking but true. The purpose of health care inside an employer group is to share expense so no one person bares a disproportional cast of medical care. Plans are designed to share expense so they exempt broad minimum costs, deductibles, co-pays etc, in exchange for broader more expensive care. No one person pays all of their costs of care and this large level costs open heart, stroke, other surgery are shared by many.
I hope that clarifies the matter in answer to a prior question unless the EEOC, HIPPA, FMLA laws are drastically changed ill employees should not fear for their job. That is specifically prohibited.