PSU Employees Unhappy with Health Care Requirements
by Jim Hamill, updated on: 05:53pm, July 23, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK — Employees of Penn State University are not taking too kindly to new health care requirements. The changes mean Penn State employees have to submit to health tests and more or their pocketbooks will take a hit. New federal health care laws are giving way to so-called wellness programs and the one at Penn State University makes it hard for employees to do anything else but go along with the new requirements. After all, we’re talking the difference of $1,000 a year.
There is something new every year on the campus of Penn State University. Sometimes it’s a new class of students and other times a new building. In 2014, it will be new health initiative for most employees. Needless to say, the wellness program is not sitting well with many university workers it will affect most. “It’s nothing but a penalty if you don’t do it. If they want to present it that way, it’s fine.
If you want to say it will save us money, got to make sure it actually saves you money,” said PSU employee Brian Wolfgang. Under the wellness program, employees who do not participate will have to pay a penalty: $100 per month. “I think this penalty approaches getting unnecessary push-back, you’re just stirring the pot,” added Wolfgang. “I’m not that excited about it. I have to do it so I’m going to do it,” said PSU employee Chris Rager. PSU employs nearly 30,000 people full-time across the state, according to its website. That means all those employees except for those in the Teamsters, will now have to go through the process of getting online wellness profiles up to date online, getting yearly physical exams, and get biometric testing or face paying $100 per month.
“That is how they’re going to make us do it. We have a choice, if we don’t want to do it, we pony up the $100 a month extra,” said PSU employee Nancy Sabol. No one at Penn State’s University Relations or Office of Human Resources would speak with Newswatch 16. Even though the university tells employees the health screenings are meant to promote wellness, employees still want to know why PSU needs their health information.
“It was dropped on us like a lead balloon, a lot of us are wondering what this is for. What right do they have to ask us for this information?” questioned Sabol. Any Penn State employee who does not go through the health screenings will start losing $100 per month starting in January.