PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Penn State University has announced that they will begin to charge their employees $100 for every month they do not undergo a health screening.

That means $1,200 a year not including the surcharge for employees who smoke.

Health policy and wellness programs expert Al Lewis doesn’t agree with this decision and thinks that our culture is too focused on “healthy” living.

He explains that many employers look to health screenings as a way of reducing their costs.

“Employers attack health care by making employees go to the doctors, that’s a dumb move to make people go to the doctors when they don’t need to,” said Lewis. “Penn State is pushing people to do because the more health spending they have, the more money the insurer will make.”

Currently, Penn State self insures its employees, so when the costs go up Penn State eats the cost, and Highmark, the insurer, will make money.

After independent consultants looked at Penn State’s finances, they discovered that by making health screenings mandatory they will in reality make more money.

“Essentially you have this program that’s subsidized and you’re essentially saying to people that all this preventative care is a free gift, so go and get it,” said Lewis. “When you do things like this you’re encouraging people to lie on these forms, so you’re not getting a culture of wellness, you’re getting a culture of deceit.”

Mike Pintek is live weekdays noon to 3 p.m. only on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA!

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