Author Topic: Good Health and 1 hour saves $300!  (Read 3732 times)

Melissa

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Good Health and 1 hour saves $300!
« on: October 15, 2012, 07:32:45 PM »
My husband's place of employment offered health incentives this year.  All you had to do was fill out an online health questionaire and have your blood fall within specified numbers and they gave a discount on next year's premiums

Total colesterol under 140;
HDL finally hit the 50 mark;
Glucose under 100;
Blood pressure 96/63

Healthy home cooked meals, weight lifting, running, and rowing does a body good!

p.s. Sorry MMM, I did drive to the doctors appt.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Good Health and 1 hour saves $300!
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2012, 08:55:16 PM »
Sometimes I wonder if people would be healthier if health insurance companies were run more like auto insurance companies.

Some sort of magic quote algorithm that would be a function of a number of parameters (and not just a threshold under which you qualify as "healthy"), and that would be your quoted rate. I find peculiar that the only question asked on online shopping sites is whether you smoke or not.

Just food for thought.


TomTX

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Re: Good Health and 1 hour saves $300!
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2012, 06:58:25 PM »
My husband's place of employment offered health incentives this year.  All you had to do was fill out an online health questionaire and have your blood fall within specified numbers and they gave a discount on next year's premiums

Total colesterol under 140;
HDL finally hit the 50 mark;
Glucose under 100;
Blood pressure 96/63

Healthy home cooked meals, weight lifting, running, and rowing does a body good!

p.s. Sorry MMM, I did drive to the doctors appt.

Congratulations! My employer gives 8 hours of leave time for online health questionnaire + annual physical.

I'm glad I don't have those targets - my total cholesterol would never hit 140. The HDL is always at least 60 (which is supposed to be good!) 

Melissa

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Re: Good Health and 1 hour saves $300!
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2012, 07:41:07 AM »
Those were my numbers, not the actual targets.  For cholesterol they wanted it to be below 230! 

Quote
Sometimes I wonder if people would be healthier if health insurance companies were run more like auto insurance companies.

Paul, I am with you on that one.  I am currently renewing my life insurance policy and they work the same way.  Everyone is able to get coverage, but it is tiered based on health.  They are sending a nurse out to check my weight, and take blood and urine samples.  I got the super healthy rate on my policy 10 years ago, but I don't think that is going to happen again due do a recent heart condition we discovered a few years ago.  It is just some intermittent tachycardia, but it is going to push me into a higher tier. 

twinge

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Re: Good Health and 1 hour saves $300!
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 08:42:25 AM »
Quote
Sometimes I wonder if people would be healthier if health insurance companies were run more like auto insurance companies.

Some sort of magic quote algorithm that would be a function of a number of parameters (and not just a threshold under which you qualify as "healthy"), and that would be your quoted rate. I find peculiar that the only question asked on online shopping sites is whether you smoke or not.

Just food for thought.

 In my ideal world, there would be rewards/penalties for positive lifestyle behaviors that have been associated with good health/lower medical costs (with build-up of rewards for maintaining these for many years ), but no penalties that are for health issues beyond individual's control.  I think our country and our policies need to both encourage people to take greater responsibility for their health AND be more empathetic/financially supportive to those experiencing ill-health or born with greater health risks/vulnerabilities.  In my view, the role of government may be to ensure the providing a equitable baseline health safety net for everyone regardless of these uncontrollable risks/vulnerabilities, and the role of private insurance is to find the algorithms for lifestyle costs and benefits to set premiums for a different portion of the insurance.  Thus individuals can choose to pay more to keep up the smoking, eating, inactivity patterns they wish or they can pay less and adopt the recommended behaviors.  I don't think private industry does terribly well at serving broad public interests or providing a safety net for all, but I don't think the government is as efficient as the free market at devising algorithms and establishing competition for individually controlled behaviors--esp. when information is never absolute about which behaviors are most likely to bring about better outcomes.

AJ

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Re: Good Health and 1 hour saves $300!
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2012, 11:13:22 AM »
Quote
Sometimes I wonder if people would be healthier if health insurance companies were run more like auto insurance companies.

Some sort of magic quote algorithm that would be a function of a number of parameters (and not just a threshold under which you qualify as "healthy"), and that would be your quoted rate. I find peculiar that the only question asked on online shopping sites is whether you smoke or not.

Just food for thought.

 In my ideal world, there would be rewards/penalties for positive lifestyle behaviors that have been associated with good health/lower medical costs (with build-up of rewards for maintaining these for many years ), but no penalties that are for health issues beyond individual's control.  I think our country and our policies need to both encourage people to take greater responsibility for their health AND be more empathetic/financially supportive to those experiencing ill-health or born with greater health risks/vulnerabilities.  In my view, the role of government may be to ensure the providing a equitable baseline health safety net for everyone regardless of these uncontrollable risks/vulnerabilities, and the role of private insurance is to find the algorithms for lifestyle costs and benefits to set premiums for a different portion of the insurance.  Thus individuals can choose to pay more to keep up the smoking, eating, inactivity patterns they wish or they can pay less and adopt the recommended behaviors.  I don't think private industry does terribly well at serving broad public interests or providing a safety net for all, but I don't think the government is as efficient as the free market at devising algorithms and establishing competition for individually controlled behaviors--esp. when information is never absolute about which behaviors are most likely to bring about better outcomes.

I think that is probably everybody's ideal world in theory. The problem is how to implement it. The devil is in the details with that one...and there are a lot of details!

etselec

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Re: Good Health and 1 hour saves $300!
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2012, 01:37:49 PM »
It's absolutely not feasible to think that health insurance should be comprehensively risk-priced the way that auto insurance is.

For one, owning and driving a car is a choice, while having a body is not. Sure, in some areas you "need" to have a car - but realistically people survive without cars all over the place. I know of no one who has survived without a body.

There are some aspects of their health over which people have control, and others over which they don't. Separating those out is incredibly difficult. Person A and Person B might both have the same mediocre cholesterol score, but Person A eats right to compensate for a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, and Person B doesn't eat well but has good genes. The same is true for obesity, high blood pressure, etc.

And people have individual situations which make these formulaic calculations difficult to apply in a fair way. If someone doesn't exercise much because they have terrible chronic knee and back pain - you're going to penalize them for that the same way you would for someone who just doesn't feel like it? I certainly wouldn't feel good about doing that to someone who's already struggling.

It's easy to talk about this kind of thing in the abstract, but once you get to the real-world implications these lines of reasoning fall apart very quickly.

grantmeaname

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Re: Good Health and 1 hour saves $300!
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2012, 01:02:15 PM »
If someone doesn't exercise much because they have terrible chronic knee and back pain - you're going to penalize them for that the same way you would for someone who just doesn't feel like it?
I'm 20 and have knee pain that varies from irksome to horrific at any given time of any given day. My mom's into her fifties now with the same issue I've got but accumulated over another 30 years, and she made it to the gym six days a week in the mornings for years. If I can exercise, and she can exercise, so can anyone else. I don't go running on pavement or playing full-contact football, obviously, but it's not like chronic pain categorically stops you from working out. There's swimming, cycling, strength training, elliptical machines...

I agree completely with your larger point-- that it's not a simple case of effort leading mechanistically to output in the form of nice, measurable health numbers-- but I hate to see people with bad knees or any other chronic pain let themselves be talked out of exercise because they think it's okay not to.