Veridian Credit Union in Iowa issued an ultimatum to employees this year: Quit smoking and lose weight, or you’ll pay more for health insurance in 2013.
Premium penalties tied to health problems are on the rise, according to a study by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health. Researchers found that such penalties doubled between 2009 and 2011.
In 2012, nearly 40% of larger employers plan to penalize employees who don’t participate in wellness programs, or for not meeting certain health goals.
Caution: Consult your attorney. Some penalties (and other health incentives) could violate the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.