Bad News for Fat Smokers Who Work at the Morning News

An alert FrontBurnervian points us to a Romenesko item about a new policy at A.H. Belo. Employees (and their health-care-plan enrolled spouses) will have to shape up or pay up. Romenesko posted the entire memo to employees, but here’s the gist:

In 2014, we will again require biometric screenings; however, the scope of the biometric screening will change. To avoid a surcharge in 2015, enrolled employees and their covered spouses/domestic partners must take the biometric screening in 2014 through Quest Diagnostic and pass three of five risk factors. Tobacco use, or any form of nicotine use, will continue to be a separate $75 per month surcharge for both the employee and the covered spouse/domestic partner. Additional details regarding the five risk factors and the potential 2015 surcharge will be provided later this year.

While the memo says that details about the risk factors won’t be provided till later, FrontBurner has learned which five factors the company will measure. They are: body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, liver function, and “dumb face.” The latter risk factor, many studies have shown, is a strong indicator of stupidity, which last year cost American business owners $4.2 trillion.


  • NancyKeene

    This will be a more widespread trend.

    What are the causes and costs of a catastrophic health crisis? The indicators are easy to identify and the statistics are staggering.

    I never knew about metabolic syndrome until a few years ago when my husband had a health crisis. He was trim, fit and looked healthy, but wasn’t. Fortuitously, I heard a timely and eye-opening presentation on the the topic at an SMU HR Roundtable.

    The good news: 1. My husband is healthy today. 2. You can correct the path.

    I shared the insight in two blogposts.


    If you rate really high on the ‘DUMB FACE RISK’ factor you just sign on for Obamacare

  • SybilsBeaver

    my company is doing this too, in order to get a $600 reduction in your premium, you have to take the biometric test. If you fail any of the 5 parameters you only get $200 and must take online courses to obtain the additional $400. Of course you can opt out but then you get no reduction and smokers still pay $50 more a month no matter what. Of course the cost of our insurance for next year is also going up $800 a year so go figure