Ore. workers face fee for not filling out survey

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Nearly 10,000 state workers who enrolled a new health program face a monthly penalty because they didn't fill out a required online survey by the deadline.

The Public Employee Benefit Board says about 14 percent of the nearly 70,000 people who agreed to participate in the program did not complete a health assessment by the March 31 deadline. Starting in July, they'll have to pay a monthly surcharge of $17.50 per person.

The Statesman Journal reports (http://stjr.nl/I5g2m0 ) the board provides medical insurance to all Oregon state workers. It began the wellness program to control costs by promoting a healthy lifestyle among members. To spur participation, the board decided that people who didn't take part would pay a monthly surcharge.

A union representative says some workers had technical problems with the survey.