According to the website casbo.org, 22% of employers penalize workers for not taking part in their workplace wellness program. In addition, some companies are penalizing employees for not meeting BMI goals, not just for not participating in the program. What is even more troubling is that many of these companies do not offer coverage for treatments or programs that would help people achieve the BMI goals set out for them such as fitness training, registered dietician services, or bariatric surgery.
I used to work for a company that did workplace wellness programs. There was no mandatory requirement to sign up for the program for any of the clients we had. What was wrong was the message that went out did not touch people on a personal level. It basically amounted to a “tip of the week” that told us to eat veggies and fruit (mostly green veggies), and make sure you get some exercise. It was nothing almost anyone with common sense didn’t know anyway.
I have not worked at such a company in a long time, but I found this out in recent days because my wife’s workplace wellness program is requiring people to participate. I didn’t think they could do that, so I went to trusty Google and found out they could. I think this is not just shocking, but possibly discriminatory.
So, want people’s opinion:
1. Does your employer have a wellness program?
2. Are you required to join and if you don't will you pay more for your insurance each month (I have heard that some employers are charging as much as $60.00 per month for not joining.
3. As far as I'm concerned, if I want somebody to know about my health, that should be up to me to tell them. As we all know, there are many reasons for devoloping Type 2 Diabetes. After talking to lots of people, one of the common things that I have in common with most other Type 2 Diabetics is that there is always that feeling that when you tell someone you have the disease that it's your fault. In fact, when I heard about this and read the article there was some sort of statistic quoted that said that the managers in a majority of the companies they survyed were of the opinion that all of the common chronic conditions (Type 2, High blood pressure, congestive heart failure) were the fault of, whoelse? The person who had the disease. My feeling is that instead of just having a "wellness program" that sends out reminders to me that I should eat my veggies and exercise, there should be some sort of educational component in there that informs everyone what the many reasons are for devoloping Type 2 (and high blood pressure and heart disease as well) and no, we aren't undisciplined and lazy. That there are reasons for the increase in the percentage of people with Type 2 and everyone is at greater risk as they age, so they need to be concerned about their future as it relates to the disease as well.
Please let me know what you think about this.