Hospital network Clarian Health will begin charging its cigarette-smoking workers $5 per paycheck next year as punishment for the unhealthy habit. The fee applies to any worker covered by health insurance Clarian offers its employees.
The smoking surcharge is part of a broader 2008 requirement by Clarian that each of its employees declare their health risks before signing up for health insurance.
In 2009, Clarian also will give a health screening to all its employees that sign up for the hospital's health insurance. The screening will test workers' body mass index, "bad" cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure.
"This is really part of our Call to Change mission communications strategy. This time, we are asking employees to make a personal call to change," Steve Wantz, Clarian's senior vice president of administration and human resources, said in a written statement.