We've written extensively on the subject of healthy choices, and how these can positively affect insurance premiums. This can be especially helpful in the group arena, where employers often use a tool called a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) to help guage employees' health. This, in turn, is used by the insurer as one factor in the rate-setting process.
Some employers have gone so far as to require their employees to complete these forms as a pre-condition to participating in the group insurance program. In fact, the Department of Labor (which oversees ERISA, or self-funded, plans) actively endorses these tools as a way to help contain insurance and health care costs.
Alert Reader© Jeff M informs us that another gummint agency, the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) may be putting the kibosh on this little excercise:
"Seemingly oblivious to the ever-increasing concern shared by the rest of the country over rising health care costs, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently cast doubt on the use of health risk assessments, a proven effective tool in the fight against rising group health insurance costs ... the [EEOC] issued a letter to an unidentified municipality, stating that the county’s conditioning of eligibility for its health plan on the completion of an HRA violates the Americans with Disabilities Act."
At present, this kerfluffle is just that, "an informal discussion on HRAs and health insurance coverage;" it's not an official "cease and desist" matter.
We'll keep you posted.