Time to sever the University’s relationship with StayWell

Some University of Minnesota employees received notice last week from StayWell Health Management Senior Vice President Steven Atneosen that the company left some University employees’ Step It Up! information available to anyone with a search engine between March 29, 2012, and Jan. 21, 2014. This information included participants’ first and last name, email address, unique StayWell identification number and information about our participation in its program.

In certain older civilized cultures, when men failed as entirely as Atneosen has, they would throw themselves on their swords. Today, they whine that their company is “committed to maintaining the trust that you have placed in us.”

Neither I nor any other employee at the University that I know of has ever trusted these parasites. We have simply been blackmailed into participating in the University’s Wellness Points Bank game, which includes points from the Step It Up! program.

For students: Employees pay $300 to $400 less for our health insurance each year if we submit to screenings, endure emails rehashing common knowledge about how it’s a good idea to eat more fruits and vegetables and move our bodies once in a while.

The program is worthless and insulting. We are adults and can make our own decisions about how we maintain our health. This is the perfect opportunity for the University to end its relationship with StayWell and use the savings to give all employees discounted health insurance regardless of whether we participate in its childish game. If the University finds health management for employees to be worthwhile, it should administer the program internally with the expertise that we have here on campus and stop subsidizing the inflated wages of external executives who have demonstrated their incompetence.