Wednesday, October 7, 2009

N.C. to Penalize Obese Workers, Those Who Smoke

North Carolina is poised to become only the second state to penalize state employees by placing them in a more expensive health insurance plan if they're obese. Smokers will feel the drag of higher costs, too, as North Carolina and South Carolina state employees who use tobacco are slated to pay more for health insurance next year.

State workers who don't cut out the Marlboros and Big Macs will end up paying more for health insurance. Tobacco users get placed in a more expensive insurance plan starting in July and, for those who qualify as obese, in July 2011. Some state employees, though, are criticizing the planned changes.

Kim Martin, a sergeant at Piedmont Correctional Institution in Salisbury, said: "If they're going to hold us accountable. Pay for a gym membership or part of a membership. Give us an incentive, a way to combat it."


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