City asks workers to join wellness program or pay $50

September 16, 2011

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Chicago city workers will have to pay extra on their health premiums if they don't agree to take part in a new wellness program. But hat's not sitting well with every city union.

The health program includes screenings and wellness trainings for conditions like obesity and diabetes. But if workers refuse to participate, it'll cost them an extra $50 on their monthly health premiums.

So far, the city's unions have signed on to the plan, except the Fraternal Order of Police. Union vice president Bill Dougherty says many of its members are already healthy.

"I know when I was 27 and 28, I didn't go to the doctor every single year because I was healthy and didn't have any problems. I have a different perspective of it now at 51. Nevertheless, I don't see that our young officers should be penalized for not going. And that's why we're not participating in this," he said.

Dougherty says the FOP is satisfied with the wellness program it already has.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the goal is to save the city money. The city's $500 million annual health care costs are about 10 percent of the budget.