Can my employer force me to meet their pre-determined criteria for health insurance credits?

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Can my employer force me to meet their pre-determined criteria for health insurance credits?

I work for a company that is making it mandatory to take a health screening for waist measurements, HDL levels, glucose levels, blood pressure levels, and triglyceride levels in order to keep a credit of $25 biweekly against our health insurance. According to the printed info, you will be given the test results and criteria will be set for you to bring the results into a pre-determined alignment. In 6 months you will be screened again and if you do not meet the criteria you will loose the credit for the rest of the year. For the last 2 years we have had to fill out an on-line survey in order to get the credit and we also had to do that this year. My question is how is it legal for my employer to demand that I meet a health criteria set by them and do I legally have a right to sue if I loose my credit because I don’t meet their criteria within the 6 months?

Asked on December 30, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Employer provided health insurance is not a right--and it won't be, even when the health reform legislation goes into effect, since employers may opt to pay a fine or penalty instead of providing it. Since it's not a right, but rather a "perk" or voluntarily provided benefit, employers may put different criteria or conditions on it, so long as they do not discriminate against a protected category (e.g. race, religion, age over 40, sex, or disability status) and do not violate a few other rules, like not discriminating in favor of highly compensated employees. In this case, offering a credit--an extra benefit--to those who meet certain health criteria which will help the employer itself reduce its costs is perfectly legal. Remember: not only does the employer not need to offer health insurance, it does not need to offer any opportunity for a credit at all.


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