More Employers Tying Health Insurance To Medical Tests In US


USA Today /Kaiser Health News (4/2, Appleby) reports, “Now, more employees are being asked to roll up their sleeves for medical tests – and to exercise, participate in disease-management programs and quit smoking to qualify for hundreds, even thousands of dollars’ worth of premium or deductible discounts.” Those supporting medical tests “say such plans offer people a financial incentive to make healthier choices and manage chronic conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, which are driving up health care costs in the USA” even though “studies of the effect of such policies on lifestyle changes are inconclusive.” However, “advocates for people with chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, fear that tying premium costs directly to test results could lead to discrimination.”