As health insurance open season heats up for businesses, many employees will discover that participating in their company’s wellness program includes rolling up their sleeves for blood tests.
Across the country, half of large employers offering health benefits have wellness programs that ask workers to submit to medical tests, often dubbed “biometrics,” that can involve a trip to a doctor’s office, lab or workplace health fair.
While aimed at uncovering potential health risks early to head off serious and costly problems, the programs that involve those biometrics are also controversial. Will the screening exams actually improve health, or merely add to a culture of overtesting that is helping drive up the cost of health care?
So far, research is mixed on whether workplace wellness offerings truly save employers money. ….