In the future, employees will be fined for unhealthy habits

This may be the wave of the future for corporate wellness programs, according to Workforce Management (23 July 2007). Clarian Health (a hospital network) will “assess $5 per-paycheck fees on employees who don’t meet minimum standards for body mass index, cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure and nonuse of tobacco.” The goal is to encourage healthier behaviors and curb the organization’s rising health-care insurance costs. The article says:

While Clarian Health’s punitive approach may be an anomaly now, benefit experts predict it is the way wellness programs are headed.

Although it won’t be fully implemented until 2009, the effort was announced this year to give employees plenty of warning, says Steven Wantz, senior vice president for administration and human resources at Clarian, which has 13,000 employees working at five hospitals in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.

Wantz says the employer has an extensive wellness program including “health risk appraisals, health coaching and other resources to help people reduce their risk factors.”


Beginning in 2009, Indianapolis-based Clarian Health will charge employees a $5 per pay period fee for each of the following conditions or behaviors:

  • Tobacco use
  • Body mass index over 29.9
  • Blood pressure over 140/90
  • Blood glucose over 120
  • LDL cholesterol over 130

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