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Old 08-15-2013, 04:55 PM
 
2,351 posts, read 1,677,574 times
Reputation: 2799
Default Employer offering $120 to employees to complete "biometric screening"

Anybody else being offered this? Any reservations about anonymity? Think it might possibly affect your employability?

This screening will involve a questionnaire and blood draws.

I called HR and was told it will remain confidential especially due to HIPAA. But it makes me wonder.
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:59 PM
Status: "Embrace the uncertainty of Liberty" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: SF Bay Area
6,381 posts, read 1,815,907 times
Reputation: 2334
Your emlloyeer is probably getting a discount from their insurance providers.

I would not have a problem doing it as long as my information stayed with my do for and not shared with work (which would be illegal in almost all cases)
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:09 PM
 
2,351 posts, read 1,677,574 times
Reputation: 2799
Quote:
Originally Posted by shooting4life View Post
Your emlloyeer is probably getting a discount from their insurance providers.
Possibly. How would it benefit the insurance providers though?

HR also told me that my company would receive anonymous metrics like "67% of those tested had elevated...."

I'm going to do it, $120 is $120 and fortunately, I am really healthy (good blood data, weight, no smoke, lots of exercise, etc) so even if there is a sneaky motive I probably am OK.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
1,924 posts, read 4,292,991 times
Reputation: 2454
Yes, my employer offers it. Nope. I don't do it. I'm also offered cash for health surveys. I figure if my notoriously cheap employer is willing to part with cash, this information is absolutely worth something--more than the hundreds my employer offers me and that scares the heck out of me. Until I figure out exactly what that is, I'm not participating.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:27 PM
Status: "Embrace the uncertainty of Liberty" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: SF Bay Area
6,381 posts, read 1,815,907 times
Reputation: 2334
Quote:
Originally Posted by plmokn View Post
Possibly. How would it benefit the insurance providers though?

HR also told me that my company would receive anonymous metrics like "67% of those tested had elevated...."

I'm going to do it, $120 is $120 and fortunately, I am really healthy (good blood data, weight, no smoke, lots of exercise, etc) so even if there is a sneaky motive I probably am OK.
The insurers use it as a tool to check for things to diagnose early. Many ailments when found early enough are relatively cheap to resolve compared to later down the line. Do not be surprised if after this is done your employers start with some sort of group walking competition or free/low cost weight watchers programs or something like that. Then in a couple of years they will test again, if the results improve then your employer might get a break on premiums. This all assumes you work for a large organization.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:42 PM
 
2,671 posts, read 1,780,951 times
Reputation: 2555
Quote:
Originally Posted by plmokn View Post
Possibly. How would it benefit the insurance providers though?

HR also told me that my company would receive anonymous metrics like "67% of those tested had elevated...."

I'm going to do it, $120 is $120 and fortunately, I am really healthy (good blood data, weight, no smoke, lots of exercise, etc) so even if there is a sneaky motive I probably am OK.
It works in the same way as clean driving record for auto insurance. If somebody has a bad driving record or is a new driver(teens), they figure out their cost to insure and how much they need to profit and still be competitive with other companies. They are betting that you will not get in an accident and you are betting on an accident before the policy ends.

They have oddsmakers(actuaries) run the numbers.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Arizona
2,278 posts, read 1,555,610 times
Reputation: 2879
It's becoming more and more common. Both my current employer and my prior employer have programs like this. I don't see a problem with it.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:50 PM
 
7,360 posts, read 7,144,167 times
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yep, employers get discounts from insurers if they institute wellness programs, and a periodic biometric screening is part of that. it's a way of tracking the results of the wellness program.

at the place where i used to work, we got a substantial discount on our deductible (it went from $1200 to $200) if we participated in the wellness program. different things, like getting a checkup, going to the dentist, getting a flu shot, participating in a weight loss program, and even filling out little health-related quizzes count for certain amounts of points and once you got enough you got this discount. plus people who completed their requirements were entered in drawings for prizes.

the biometric screening was the only hard and fast requirement if you wanted to participate - everything else you could pick and choose from.

the motivation coming from the insurance company is to make you less expensive to insure. the healthier you are, and the sooner you spot health problems, the less money they have to pay out for you. the motivation of your employer is to save money on premiums. that's as sneaky as it gets.
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:22 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 701,542 times
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I had never heard of this type of screening before at a company, thanks for bringing it up.
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Old 08-15-2013, 07:55 PM
 
3,991 posts, read 3,168,288 times
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Many of the employers here require an annual blood draw for nicotine, cholesterol and glucose. The employee pays lower insurance costs if he or she is a not a tobacco user, has low cholesterol, and is not diabetic.

The company I work for does the blood testing for some of these companies. The program has been very beneficial, with many employees quitting smoking, losing weight and improving their diets in order to qualify for lower insurance rates. Some companies also pay a cash bonus for employees in the healthy ranges.
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