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Alabama's Fat Tax
Journal of Critical Incidents (2010)
  • A. Osland, San Jose State University
  • William Y. Jiang, San Jose State University
  • P. Wells, San Jose State University

Cassidy Talmadge, the Marketing Manager for the Alabama State Employees’ Insurance Board (ALSEIB), was to manage the public relations aspects of ALSEIB’s wellness program. She was taken aback that some of the media reports had been so critical in sensationalizing it as a “fat tax” when her employer thought that it was trying to help employees through a wellness program. How can she take the offensive and draw positive attention to the program? Employees received a $25 discount toward their health insurance premium if they participated in wellness screenings to check four risk factors: blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and body mass index and if found to be at risk for one or more of the four risk factors, they agreed to address their risk. Employees were also eligible for a $30/month discount if they didn’t use tobacco products. Coupled with the $25 discount for the wellness screenings and follow up, if required, the employees could have reduced their health premium to $15 monthly for a single employee after discounts. The decision revolves around how Cassidy should handle future PR for the wellness program.

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Citation Information
A. Osland, William Y. Jiang and P. Wells. "Alabama's Fat Tax" Journal of Critical Incidents Vol. 3 (2010)
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