Coming soon to a state near you:
[Y'all from Alabama will be glad to know they are finally going to do something about all those fat lazy KFC addict's you call state employee's ... Hey, where's Lynyrd Skynyrd when you need them.]
"Alabama workers to pay for extra pounds
Next year, the state will add a $25 insurance fee for being overweight"
"MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama, pushed to second in national obesity rankings by deep-fried Southern favorites, is cracking down on state workers who are too fat.
The state has given its 37,527 employees a year to start getting fit â” or theyâll pay $25 a month for insurance that otherwise is free.
Alabama will be the first state to charge overweight state workers who donât work on slimming down, while a handful of other states reward employees who adopt healthy behaviors.
A recent study suggested that about half of overweight people and nearly a third of obese people have normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, while about a quarter of people considered to be normal weight suffer from the ills associated with obesity.
Walter Lindstrom, founder of the Obesity Law and Advocacy Center in California, said heâs concerned that all overweight Alabama employees will get is advice to walk more and broil their chicken.
âThe state will feel good about itself for offering something and the person of size will end up paying $300 a year for the bad luck of having a chronic disease his/her state-sponsored insurance program failed to cover in an appropriate and meaningful fashion,â he said.
William Ashmore, executive director of the State Employeesâ Insurance Board, said the state will spend an extra $1.6 million next year on screenings and wellness programs, but should see significant long-term savings.
Ashmore said research shows someone with a body mass index of 35 to 39 generates $1,748 more in annual medical expenses than someone with a BMI less than 25, considered normal.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a few states offer one-time financial incentives for pursuing healthy lifestyles. Ohio workers, for instance, get $50 for having health assessments and another $50 for following through with the advice.
Arkansas and Missouri go a step further, offering monthly discounts on premiums for employees who take health risk assessments and participate in wellness programs to reduce obesity, stress and other health problems.
Alabamaâs new policy is drawing no objection from the lobbying group representing state workers.
Mac McArthur, executive director of Alabama State Employees Association, said the plan is not designed to punish employees.
âItâs a positive,â he said."