September 30, 2008
The state of Alabama has announced a new plan, which requires all employees to be annually screened for obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high glucose levels.
Employees found in violation of any of specified size and levels will be forced to pay an additional $25 a month ($300 per year) for health insurance beginning in 2011. Currently, single workers pay nothing; family plans run $180 a month.
According to the Los Angels Times, the new requirements will affect "â€¦more than 37,000 people employed by the state."
Recently, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Alabama is the second heaviest state in the nation with a 30% obesity rate, just behind Mississippi.
After paying around 1.2 billion in medical charges last year, the state is trying to kill two birds with one stone. Obesity, and medical fees.
Employees will be given a Body Mass Index (BMI) tests to determine if they are obese. The BMI examines height in relation to weight on both males and females to calculate the amount of body fat on an individual.
In addition, Alabama state officials are offering employees discounts to specific health facilities such as the YMCA and Weight Watchers, as encouragement to adopt a wellness program. If they do not provide evidence that they are making an effort to loose weight, they will be taxed.