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29 votes (64.44%)
4 votes (8.88%)
9 votes (20%)
3 votes (6.66%)

45 members have voted

Joined: Jan 20, 2010
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November 17th, 2011 at 7:20:38 PM permalink
Some smokers employed by Wal-Mart are required to pay $2,000 surcharge to cover higher health care costs. Other companies, including PepsiCo, Safeway, Lowe's, and General Mills have similar policies for unhealthy employees, including obese workers with high cholesterol.
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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November 17th, 2011 at 8:56:16 PM permalink
What does walmart get for these workers under their Dead Peasants policies?
Joined: Feb 28, 2011
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November 18th, 2011 at 8:22:33 AM permalink
This sounds like a move away from group policy to individual policies where most everyone will be changed extra for something. What does Wal-Mart pay back to the employee for being healthy? Or is the new policy pricing all increases with no offsetting decreases?
Joined: Mar 11, 2010
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November 18th, 2011 at 9:02:30 AM permalink
My approval of this policy depends on what happens to the "healthy" employees. Are their rates reflective of a fully healthy pool? Or do they pay the average amount for the whole pool, regardless of the surcharge assessed to the "unhealthy?"

Edit: Nice post KP! That's what I get for leaving things sit for a half hour:-)
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
Joined: Sep 15, 2010
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November 18th, 2011 at 9:10:08 AM permalink
I have voted for unreasonable, but maybe i do not know the whole story. Does walmart help the employees to become healthier anyhow?
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Joined: Dec 27, 2010
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November 18th, 2011 at 1:55:37 PM permalink
Why not add drinkers? And fat people? And athletes? And inner city youth? And motorcylists? And meat eaters? And lazy people? And gun owners? And Jews? And guys named 'Steve' who were born between March and August?

To hell with that. I know people don't like smoke, and may downright hate an inconsiderate smoker, but is anyone else concerned with this constant persecution of smokers?

Thank a smoker today. They pay for a pant load of the health and education through taxes, and most will die early, leaving their social security funds to YOU, He of Long Life.
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Joined: May 6, 2010
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November 18th, 2011 at 7:47:55 PM permalink
My company has a similar policy but has it set up to be more palatable. Instead of being charged a surcharge for smoking, employees who certify that they are smoke free receive an extra credit for use in offsetting their portion of the medical premiums. There is supposedly random testing via a breathalyzer type machine up to twice a year. (I've never been tested in the past 2 years.)

In addition, employees who take annual health assessment surveys and attend 'know your numbers' screenings receive additional reductions in there premiums. It's all an attempt to get employees to cut down on habits that are known to be detrimental to your health and to encourage habits that promote healthier lifestyles.

It makes business sense - preventing one employee heart attack could save $50,000+ in medical claims.
"Bite my Glorious Golden Ass!" - Bender Bending Rodriguez
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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November 20th, 2011 at 6:08:22 AM permalink
I say in the long run it will not work, smoking is only one factor, albeit a large one. If they want to use a proven way to lower costs, go the Whole Foods model and just put most in the HSA. Then the employee shops for what they want or need, lowering costs.
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
Joined: Jun 4, 2013
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July 12th, 2013 at 3:53:16 PM permalink
Given that I work for a company that does not hire smokers and will literally fire me if I test positive for nicotine or am caught smoking (fortunately I don't smoke,) I understand three things.

1. What Walmart is doing is definitely legal.
2. These employees are getting off easy.
3. Walmart is a bunch of jerks.
Joined: Jan 15, 2010
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July 12th, 2013 at 5:36:12 PM permalink
Obviously legal and in my opinion acceptable in terms of charging smokers more. Weight/cholesterol kind of has me apprehensive though, for a lot of people it comes down to genes and has the potential to be discriminatory in nature. Yes, people can be highly disposed to getting addicted to nicotine, but it doesn't compare to... you know... being Samoan.

In truth? Give me an ultra high deductible plan with an HSA any day.
Its - Possessive; It's - "It is" / "It has"; There - Location; Their - Possessive; They're - "They are"

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