About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Humana Refuses to Hire Smokers

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Humana of Ohio is adopting a particularly severe stance on tobacco use. A new policy gives new employees who smoke 31 days to enroll in a smoking cessation program. Several other companies have started similar efforts to reduce health care costs, according to the article.

If you find this move off-putting, you're not alone. Just take a look at the comments section of the Enquirer article! While tobacco use presents a serious health risk and increases health care costs, Humana's policy raises a serious question: When does a wellness program become too heavy-handed?

It's essential that wellness initiatives be seen by employees in a positive light, which is why we encourage clients to avoid harsh mandates and ultimatums. Instead, take a positive approach. Create an incentive structure that rewards active participation. Survey your employees and design programs that meet their specific needs.

What do you think about Humana's policy? I'd love to hear your views.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your take on wellness programs. Wellness programs that are properly planned, implemented and marketed can be benefit employers and employees. The moment employees think that the purpose of a wellness policy is just to save costs at the expense of all employee privileges, a revolt or reduced participation in programs is surely to follow.

Kyle M.P.H. Student