Would you complete a confidential health risk assessment questionnaire as part of a wellness program if your employer offered to pay you $100?
Would you indicate how often you ate leafy green vegetables or exercised?
Would you participate in a biometric screening at work to determine your body mass index (BMI), cholesterol or blood sugar values?
How would you answer questions concerning your alcohol and recreational drug use, feelings about co-workers, or family misfortunes such as incarceration or job loss?
Workplace wellness programs that encourage workers to adopt healthier lifestyles are increasingly popular with employers in the hope they will save money in the future.
Individual results cannot be shared with the employer based on HIPAA privacy law, but vendors can produce a report showing aggregate data of all participants. Most employers offering risk assessment offer incentives for voluntary completion, but some have implemented mandatory programs where workers are penalized with higher premium costs if they don’t participate.
Any proposal for a mandatory program would be subject to the collective bargaining process for NYSUT local members. In regard to voluntary programs, members need to balance their comfort level with the assessment tool compared to the reward.
— Sue Klug