Survey finds more companies charge a smoking penalty

11/17/2011 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

A Towers Watson survey of 248 U.S. employers found 19% charge financial penalties for employees who have unhealthy lifestyles, double the rate of two years ago. Companies such as Wal-Mart say rising health costs force them to charge higher insurance premiums or surcharges for smokers, but experts warn that such policies should focus on creating healthier options as part of a broader wellness effort, rather than simply cost-shifting.

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New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

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