One of the country's largest pharmacy chains is asking its workers to find out how fat they are and then disclose it to their insurance provider.

Not only is that company, CVS Caremark, telling workers who use its health insurance plan to have a doctor determine their height, weight, body fat, blood pressure and other health indicators. It is also asking workers to give permission to the insurer to turn over that information to a firm that provides benefits support to CVS, the Boston Herald reports.

Workers who don’t take part in the voluntary “wellness review,” paid for by CVS, will have to pay an annual $600 penalty.

Obamacare could make such practices more common. The health care reform law allows employers to levy a higher penalty against workers who don’t participate in company wellness programs. In some cases, workers could also have to pay more if they don’t meet certain health targets like appropriate body mass index.

Michael DeAngelis, a CVS spokesman, wrote in an e-mail statement to The Huffington Post that, compliant with privacy laws, the company won’t have access to the health information. Instead, it will only be reviewed by the firm administering CVS’ benefits.

(Are you facing just such a scenario at work, or something similar to it? Tell us about it. Email

“Our benefits program is evolving to help our colleagues engage more actively to improve their health and manage health-associated costs,” DeAngelis wrote. “An initial step to accomplish this goal is a health screening and wellness review so that colleagues know their key health metrics in order to take action to improve their overall health, if necessary.”

DeAngelis also argued that the company’s policy is “a common practice.” He cited a survey from the National Business Group on Health -- which describes itself as “the nation's only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to representing large employers' perspective on national health policy issues” -- that found that nearly 80 percent of employers offered a health assessment in 2011. Three-fourths of employers who offered the assessment also provided incentives for completion.

A smaller share of companies pressured workers into actually taking part in a health review. A 2012 Kaiser survey found that 18 percent of employers asked their workers to take part in a health risk assessment, with only a share of those companies levying a financial penalty on employees who didn't complete it.

CVS is rolling out the program as companies across the country are expecting health care costs to rise. More than 60 percent of employers said in an August survey that they expect to pay more for their workers health insurance when President Obama’s health care reform law takes effect in 2014. Fewer unhealthy employees could mean a cost savings for companies.

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  • 10. Florida

    <strong>2012 score:</strong> 55.3 <strong>Treatment of class-action suits:</strong> 9th worst <strong>Damages:</strong> 10th worst <strong>Admissibility of evidence:</strong> 9th worst 17th worst <strong>Judges' impartiality:</strong> 17th worst In each of the past three surveys, Florida was rated as one of the 10 worst states by the lawyers surveyed by the Institute for Legal Reform. In this year's survey, Florida has been rated the eighth-worst state for companies looking for the prompt dismissal of a case. Respondents were also dissatisfied with how the state's legal system assessed damages, with 61% of respondents giving Florida a C grade or worse. In a statement, Lisa A. Rickard, president of the ILR, said, <a href="" target="_hplink">"Florida's litigation climate can be attributed in large part to its notorious reputation for exorbitant jury awards."</a> Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, similarly described the state's jury awards as <a href="" target="_hplink">"ridiculously high."</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Read more at 24/7 Wall St. </a>

  • 9. Oklahoma

    <strong>2012 score:</strong> 55.0 <strong>Treatment of class-action suits:</strong> 11th worst <strong>Damages:</strong> 8th worst <strong>Admissibility of evidence:</strong> 10th worst <strong>Judges' impartiality:</strong> 10th worst The corporate attorneys who responded to the survey are not big fans of Oklahoma's court rules regarding damages. Only 7 percent of respondents gave the state an A in this area, while 34 percent gave it a D or F. This comes despite Oklahoma enacting tort reform in 2011 that included a <a href="" target="_hplink">$350,000 cap on noneconomic damages</a> in civil liability cases. In fact, the Tulsa World <a href="" target="_hplink">reported</a> in July that malpractice judgments against defendants are at a 10-year low due to these policies. Lawyers gave the highest marks to the state for "having and enforcing meaningful venue requirement," which measures factors such as how easy it is to bring in a case in a pro-plaintiff jurisdiction. Of the respondents, 46 percent gave the state an A or a B in that regard. <a href="" target="_hplink">Read more at 24/7 Wall St.</a>

  • 8. Alabama

    <strong>2012 score:</strong> 52.8 <strong>Treatment of class-action suits:</strong> 8th worst <strong>Damages:</strong> 5th worst <strong>Admissibility of evidence:</strong> 8th worst <strong>Judges' impartiality:</strong> 4th worst Alabama's corporate attorneys had numerous concerns about how litigation was handled in the state. In particular, respondents to the ILR survey were dissatisfied with how the state determined and enforced rules for filing and trying lawsuits within the state, with 55 percent of respondents giving Alabama a grade of C or worse. Respondents also disliked how the state assessed damages, with almost two-thirds providing a grade of C or lower, and 15 percent or respondents giving Alabama an F. Of all the measures, lawyers gave judicial impartiality the lowest score. <a href="" target="_hplink">Read more at 24/7 Wall St. </a>

  • 7. New Mexico

    <strong>2012 score:</strong> 52.7 <strong>Treatment of class-action suits:</strong> 6th worst <strong>Damages:</strong> 7th worst <strong>Admissibility of evidence:</strong> 6th worst <strong>Judges' impartiality:</strong> 7th worst Only 2 percent of respondents gave New Mexico an A for the overall state grade. Meanwhile, 45 percent gave the state a C, while 26 percent gave it either a D or an F. In terms of fairness in assessing damages, 15 percent gave the state an F and an additional 13 percent gave the state a D. The American Medical Association notes that the state has a $600,000 cap on total damages, excluding punitive damages and the cost of medical care. The state also received a low score for treatment of class-action suits, with 21 percent of respondents giving the state a grade of D or F. The issue of class-action suits made headlines in New Mexico in Oct. 2011 when state judge James Browning allowed a class-action suit against credit rating agencies to proceed. Similar attempts to file suits against the agencies regarding the claims they made on mortgage-backed securities previously failed. <a href="" target="_hplink">Read more at 24/7 Wall St. </a>

  • 6. Montana

    <strong>2012 score:</strong> 52.2 <strong>Treatment of class-action suits:</strong> 19th worst <strong>Damages:</strong> 9th worst <strong>Admissibility of evidence:</strong> 5th worst <strong>Judges' impartiality:</strong> 5th worst Corporate lawyers gave Montana's legal system a big thumbs-down, as 13 percent of survey respondents gave the state an overall F rating, while just 6 percent rated the state an A. Reviews were even worse when attorneys were asked to give their opinion on how well tort and contract cases were handled -- 20 percent of respondents gave the state an F, while just 7 percent were A ratings. Judges in the state were also rated poorly by attorneys, who ranked both the impartiality and competence of Montana judges as being inferior to all-but four other states. <a href="" target="_hplink">Read more at 24/7 Wall St. </a>

  • 5. Illinois

    <strong>2012 score:</strong> 51.3 <strong>Treatment of class-action suits:</strong> 4th worst <strong>Damages:</strong> 4th worst <strong>Admissibility of evidence:</strong> 15th worst <strong>Judges' impartiality:</strong> 6th worst Compared to other states, Illinois scored the worst for having and enforcing meaningful venue requirements, which can limit forum shopping, ranking second lowest in that category behind West Virginia. The <a href="" target="_hplink">American Tort Reform Association</a> consistently labels both Madison County and St. Clair County as one of a handful of "judicial hellholes" because they host litigation that originates outside of the state. The group notes that the counties are magnets for both asbestos and pharmaceutical litigation. According to the <a href="" target="_hplink">ILR</a>, Chicago/Cook County was considered the jurisdiction with the "least fair and reasonable litigation environment," while Madison County was considered the sixth-worst jurisdiction. <a href="" target="_hplink">Read more at 24/7 Wall St. </a>

  • 4. California

    <strong>2012 score:</strong> 50.6 <strong>Treatment of class-action suits:</strong> the worst <strong>Damages:</strong> 2nd-worst <strong>Admissibility of evidence:</strong> 12th-worst <strong>Judges' impartiality:</strong> 11th-worst Regarding <a href="" target="_hplink">jurisdictions</a> with legal environments that are the "least fair and reasonable," 16 percent of corporate lawyers mentioned Los Angeles, 9 percent mentioned San Francisco, and another 9 percent mentioned California but did not specify a jurisdiction. In a video statement, Donohue contends that <a href="" target="_hplink">"Los Angeles is the worst city in America, from a legal perspective, to have a business ... and San Francisco is not far behind."</a> Respondents especially disapproved of how the state treated class action lawsuits, giving it the worst rating nationwide. Additionally, respondents criticized how the state assessed damages, giving it the second-worst rating nationwide. In one particular case, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Philip Morris was ordered in 2009 to pay $13.8 million in punitive damages for causing the addiction and death of a <a href="" target="_hplink">45 year-old smoker</a>. The second court of appeals in Los Angeles upheld the ruling in 2011. <a href="" target="_hplink">Read more at 24/7 Wall St. </a>

  • 3. Mississippi

    <strong>2012 score:</strong> 46.6 <strong>Treatment of class-action suits:</strong> 3rd-worst <strong>Damages:</strong> 6th-worst <strong>Admissibility of evidence:</strong> 3rd-worst <strong>Judges' impartiality:</strong> 2nd-worst Only 3 percent of the survey respondents gave the state an A for its handling of tort and contract litigation, while 35 percent of respondents gave the state a D or F. Respondents also showed concerns about the fairness of judges and juries in the state. The state was rated the worst in judge competence and jury fairness, with 14 percent and 17 percent of respondents giving it an F in both measures. The state was ranked the sixth-worst in terms of how it assesses damages, with 33 percent of respondents grading it a D or an F. Currently, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals <a href="" target="_hplink">is determining</a> whether the a state law limiting noneconomic damages in civil cases to $1 million is constitutional. <a href="" target="_hplink">Read more at 24/7 Wall St. </a>

  • 2. Louisiana

    <strong>2012 score:</strong> 46.5 <strong>Treatment of class-action suits:</strong> 2nd-worst <strong>Damages:</strong> 3rd-worst <strong>Admissibility of evidence:</strong> 2nd-worst <strong>Judges' impartiality:</strong> 3rd-worst According to Rickard, <a href="" target="_hplink">"despite recent positive developments, Louisiana is still notorious for excessive verdicts, loose class-certification standards, and an unfair judiciary."</a> These assertions correspond to how corporate lawyers feel about the state, which ranked third-worst among all states for how it assessed damages, second-worst to California for how it accepted and handled class action lawsuits, and third-worst for both judicial impartiality and competence. Further, for each of the <a href="" target="_hplink">10 measures</a> the ILR used to assess states' legal systems, Louisiana was rated among the worst five states. <a href="" target="_hplink">Read more at 24/7 Wall St. </a>

  • 1. West Virginia

    <strong>2012 score:</strong> 44.8 <strong>Treatment of class-action suits:</strong> 5th-worst <strong>Damages:</strong> the worst <strong>Admissibility of evidence:</strong> the worst <strong>Judges' impartiality:</strong> the worst A whopping 29 percent of respondents gave the state an F for how it assesses damages, while another 22 percent gave it a D, making West Virginia the worst state in that category. While the state has a $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages in cases where a plaintiff suffers serious medical harm, it is unclear whether it only applies to medical doctors and hospitals or if it can be defined more broadly. This debate was reopened after a family was awarded $91.5 million after an 87-year old woman living at a nursing home died from dehydration. The verdict included $11.5 million in compensatory damages. Respondents to the ILR also had deep misgivings about judge and jury fairness. The state ranked at the bottom in terms of judge impartiality, and second from the bottom in judge competence and jury fairness. <a href="" target="_hplink">Read more at 24/7 Wall St. </a>