In an effort to control health care costs, Pennsylvania State University is requiring covered employees and their spouses or partners to provide specific health information and submit to a battery of blood tests. Otherwise, they’ll pay a $100 surcharge on top of their health premiums.
The plan appears to test the legal limits of wellness programs.
To avoid the surcharge, employees must provide a “full lipid profile” and glucose, body mass index and waist-circumference measurements. Highmark, Penn State’s health insurance carrier, will provide mobile facilities to collect the information from employees and their spouses or partners.
Note: While some studies suggest wellness programs provide health care savings, no long-term studies exist to suggest those savings are sustainable. Employers should weigh all the implications—including poor employee morale—before jumping on the wellness bandwagon.