Check Legalities of Wellness Questions Before Kicking Off a Wellness Program
Oct 27, 2010
In order to be effective, companies that are planning wellness programs will need to gather personal and private information on their employees. Many companies try to target programs specifically geared to an individual’s particular needs, but sometimes, questions can be a bit too personal.
For example, the Indianapolis Business Journal has reported that Indiana University was forced to back away from some major portions its new wellness program after a backlash from employees after over 550 people complained about their online health risk assessment.
After seeing their health costs increase by an average of 8-12% per year, IU decided to find ways to reduce costs for their 17,000 employees through a company wellness program.
The way the program was structured, in exchange for answering the questionnaire and signing a commitment to avoid tobacco products and undergo tests of their blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and body-mass index, the employees could save up to $160 per month on their premium contributions.
However, it is understood that some of the questions were off base and delved into such forbidden areas as whether or not the employees attend religious services.