My Turn: Weighing in on encouraging employees to be healthy - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: Weighing in on encouraging employees to be healthy

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(Source: MGN Online/ Ildar Sagdejev ) (Source: MGN Online/ Ildar Sagdejev )

A lot of people have "weighed" in on a news story we broadcast last week about CVS Pharmacy requiring employees who use its health plan to submit their weight and other vitals or face higher premiums.

We heard a lot of outrage. Some people felt it was a violation of their rights. Others argued that weight is not always an indicator of good or bad health.  And there is also the argument that this can be punitive to people with hereditary health issues.

We also found out the city of Wilmington does something similar, but in this situation, if employees prove their good health with blood testing and other health related metrics they can get discounts. 

This sounds better.  But really it's the same thing.  One sounds like a carrot and the other sounds like a stick. 

The bottom line is healthier employees cost the company less money and they should share in those cost savings - not be forced to subsidize the high health care costs of people who continue to smoke, overeat and abuse their bodies.  

What could be wrong with this?  It makes for a healthy bottom line and should contribute to a healthier workforce.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed comments from viewers:

I will not insult you or call names. However, I must note a couple of things to you.  First, this is a country work for a company, but are not a slave to the company. Just because a company does not like your health, DOES NOT give them the right or privilege to intrude into your personal information.  We are not slaves, at there beck and call. You would reduce being a free agent to a item of personal property of the employer. This is to0 onerous of a burden and is much too intrusive to be allowed..  Americans have objected to this type of treatment by employers for over 100 years.

For example, while there are many statistical charts that indicated that married people lived longer than the unmarried. Would your advocacy of this policy allow the company to demand its employees be married. Should the employer even have a right in deciding who you marry? I guess since it will impact the bottom line - as you call it -  they should have the right to know the information on you Your Spouse and heck even your children.  This is what the law call the slippery slope. Where does it stop.

You know this is what insurance companies used to justify different rates of insurance for men and women, until the state made that practice illegal. It is what allowed them to deny health care on a per-existing condition, but now they loose that.

In closing I guess you would be ok, with your employer demanding your genome sequences to see if your at risk for heart attack or other illness before they employee you for 20-30 years.


It is evident that most of us react to both carrots and sticks!! Personally, I rebel from the 'stick' approach, but if the carrot isn't quite big enough..... Well, I dismiss that as well. Until we in America take responsibility for our choices (poor ones, we all claim the good ones), I see no resolution for the issue. Health care is thru the roof and climbing.....for those with no 'skin' in the game, well, they'll just keep doing what they do because you and I pick up the tab. I sure wish I were smart and could solve this issue, but alas, I have no clue..... Much like everyone else! How in the €%¥~ did we get here???


Gary, While watching the news this morning I saw your talk about CVS insurance.  I work for Novant in Brunswick. Our hospital insurance makes us take a health survey and if we have any condition,acute or chronic, we have to register with a company called COMPAS. They assign us a coach who will help us deal with chronic conditions and make suggestions about how to help us with the condition. If we don't contact and go through their steps, wether we want or not, they will take $45.00 from our paychecks each pay period. The compass coach calls it an incentive. I don't see this as an incentive. I see it as stealing my hard earned money. I have no medical conditions I need their help with. I am a registered nurse, not overweight, don' t smoke or drink alcohol, a certified diabetes educator and my husband is a physician in Brunswick County. I don't want or feel like I need their help and I don't like the idea they will take $45.00 from my pay every pay period if I don't participate.  I feel like they are holding me hostage.


Thank you so much for breaking it down that healthy employees cost less money and create a healthy workplace. For 3 years, I worked in a place where I was one of the only ones that didn't drink, smoke, party, etc. I was literally contacted every single one of my days off to come in to cover an employee that had to go home because they were either hungover or still drunk from the night before. I was being punished by their unhealthy behavior and the owners refused to offer health insurance because those employees were high risk.

I'm grateful to have found employment with a company that promotes healthy living. I now enjoy going to work. I can count on all of my co-workers being at work everyday which makes the entire team function efficiently,  benefiting everyone. I hope the new standards become the norm. Why should I be forced to pay more when I take care of myself and others don't? 

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