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It's happening-Health insur surcharges for the overweight

 
 
Linkat
 
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 08:26 am
Under Obama's Affordable Care Act, which takes effect in January, companies can offer a reward of up to 30 percent of health care costs paid by the employee to those who complete voluntary programs like smoking cessation, a risk assessment or biometric tests like waist measurement.

Employers are getting much more aggressive about punishing workers who are overweight or have high cholesterol. A study released on Wednesday by the Obesity Action Coalition, an advocacy group, covered workers at more than 5,000 companies who must participate in their employer wellness programs to receive full health benefits. Sixty-seven percent also had to meet a weight-related health goal such as a certain body mass index.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/11/13/company-health-insurance-penalties-smoking-obesity-obamacare/#!slide=978495
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 08:36 am
@Linkat,
I am grateful that I am neither a smoker nor overweight. I have managed my high cholesterol so now its normal. If I am still taking medicine to regulate and maintain the level does that count for having high cholesterol in terms of an alleged surcharge? If in fact I ever do get affordable health insurance....
Lordyaswas
 
  4  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 08:40 am
@Linkat,
My car insurance gives me a discount for being a careful driver.

My house insurance gives me a discount for making sure my house is secure.

I can't really see what's so strange about a medical health cover that would prefer me to lead a healthy lifestyle, and encourage me to give up things that are bad for me. After all, they are the ones who have to stump up when things go wrong primarily because of lifestyle habits.

0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 09:00 am
I am completely against it. At least our European insurance companies have not got that far.
The smokers are punished - the alcolholics not at all even less the ones on drugs of different kinds.
The obese are punished no matter if it is a question of illness or psychological problems.
The sportlers who are overdoing their sports are not punished - it is even considered healthy. Just look at what happens to our top sportsmen/women. They often are half cripled already at a young age.
Not long ago we were not supposed to do certain things to prove we were good Christians. This religious puritanical attitude has now been overtaken by puritan health people. It is nothing but pure puritanism.
If that is the result of Obama´s health insurance he has completely failed as a caring person.
I am not a smoker, I am not overweight and I try to live a healthy life
saab
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 09:29 am
...and most accidents happen in the home. Surcharge for housewifes, maids, butlers etc.
....women go to doctors more than men. Surcharge for women.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 09:50 am
On overweightness, of course much is caused by poor eating habits and lack of exercise, but recently there was an article about a certain small percentage of folks have a genuine hormonal problem involving a mutated gene that they name in the article:
Slow metabolism 'obesity excuse' true
By James Gallagher
Health and science reporter, BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24610296

Even with a hormonal gene problem, it's famously hard to lose a lot of weight and keep it off, and not only (I've read) for reasons of low moral ability to behave well. I find a lot of condescension in the distaste people have for obese folk. My point? I think any insurance connection to the matter of obesity should be keyed to participation in nutrition classes or exercise programs and the like, and not be tied down to weight going down and staying down.
Even this is problematic since ideas of what is correct nutrition vary among experts. One thing I take as important is a change in eating choice lifestyle, not just repeated dieting.

Me, I've never been obese but I've gotten up to chub a few times in my decades.
Now I'm in the middle of normal range and like it there, but I've empathy for those trying to knock off pounds.


A tangent but similar subject - cholesterol:

I read long ago and it may still be true that there's a basic cholesterol production level that is genetic for each person. It can go up from there and that's when it is reasonable to work down to one's normal. Meantime, just yesterday I saw there was medial news - an opinion piece in the New York Times by two eminent experts that the call for increasing statin drug usage to people that weren't categorized up until now as needing statins is way off base. I won't give the link since I've used up my ten clicks a month for free with the NYT so I can't just open up the article and see the url. Easy to look up though - it's in the opinion section, written by John D Abramson and Rita F Redberg Nov. 13th; title - Don't Give More Patients Statins. I thought it was a good article myself.

This could get hairy if patients in the new zone for getting statins choose not to take them.... and be correct.

Also, I've read a lot over the years about cholesterol not being the main culprit in getting heart trouble, and re plaque formation, but don't have links at hand to substantiate my memory on all that.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 10:06 am
@saab,
saab wrote:

I am completely against it. At least our European insurance companies have not got that far.
The smokers are punished - the alcolholics not at all even less the ones on drugs of different kinds.
The obese are punished no matter if it is a question of illness or psychological problems.
The sportlers who are overdoing their sports are not punished - it is even considered healthy. Just look at what happens to our top sportsmen/women. They often are half cripled already at a young age.
Not long ago we were not supposed to do certain things to prove we were good Christians. This religious puritanical attitude has now been overtaken by puritan health people. It is nothing but pure puritanism.
If that is the result of Obama´s health insurance he has completely failed as a caring person.
I am not a smoker, I am not overweight and I try to live a healthy life

Quite a few private companies over rebates for non-smokers here in Germany (and other countries, since most health insurers are multi-national.
If your overweight, you have to pay a "risk-addition" to the normal fee with private insurers.

The mandatory insurers offer non-smoking courses, healthy-cooking-courses and so on.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 10:23 am
@ossobuco,
To edit and add -

I'm not even happy with people having to participate in some nutrition or exercise programs. One can do that on one's own, I always have learned nutrition by a lot of reading, and exercised for enjoyment, and don't want forced learning to save insurance companies money. On the other hand, everyone is not just like me.

On cholesterol, on the business of having natural genetic level of cholesterol production, and then adding to it, I meant that eating behavior can bring the blood cholesterol ldl and hdl numbers up and down to some extent.
Butrflynet
 
  6  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 11:19 am
This is nothing new due to Obama care. Heck, if you reach a certain number on the scale, you were refused coverage as it was considered a preexisting condition. With Obamacare we now at least have the opportunity to access the health care needed to help with weight loss. That surcharge is minimal when compared to the thousands spent without insurance, if you could afford it. I'll gladly pay it for access to health insurance previously denied, and the medical services that are helping me to lose weight. I'm already down 52 pounds thanks to the ACA and my doctors.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 12:33 pm
It is a very dangerous slope to allowed either companies or insurance firms to punish customers or employees for lifestyle choices.

Let see I used to skydive and fly ultralight aircrafts for fun so I should then had pay more for insurance?

How about mountain climbers of motorcycle riders or ................

If you allow insurance firms the power to dictate by way of cost what you can and can not do be it your weight or your hobbies your smoking or drinking there is no end to how far they can invade your private life.

Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 12:39 pm
@BillRM,
Insurance, any insurance, insures a risk. And if the risk is higher, you have to pay more.
(That's why we have accident insurances here, mandatory as well as private.)
saab
 
  3  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 12:44 pm
@BillRM,
Don´t forget the genes tests regarding cancer and other illnesses.
How about children born with handicaps? They could have been aborted instead of being born. Insurance companies know every trick.

My opinion is that there should be a law that everybody has to have an insurance and that noone can be deneyed as a member nor have to pay more.

Regarding overweight people working. There are hardworking overweight people and damn lazy skinny ones.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 12:56 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
Insurance, any insurance, insures a risk. And if the risk is higher, you have to pay more.
(That's why we have accident insurances here, mandatory as well as private.)


Sorry it should be as far as health care is concern at least the whole insurance group risk and not filter out in fine details to individuals!!!!!!

Otherwise there is no limit to the factors that the insurance companies can claims they had a right to know and take into account.

Example do you have more then one sexual partner and if so how often do you used a condom and so on.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 01:33 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
Sorry it should be as far as health care is concern at least the whole insurance group risk and not filter out in fine details to individuals!!!!!!
Might well be so. But since we've got it since 1885 ... it's hard to change now.
Miller
 
  3  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 02:07 pm
I commented on this topic a little on another thread. Being fat can be a problem for individuals when it comes to insurance premiums. However, it is not a major problem relative to many other diseases a person could have.

Will those individuals having seizures, be charged higher premiums? In many States, individuals who have seizures, cannot gain a permit to drive.

How about individuals, whose DNA analysis indicates they are prone to several medical conditions that can end up being very costly to an insurance company? Will they charge women with mothers who died of breast cancer higher premiums than those whose mothers didn't have breast cancer?

How about racial differences among diseases? Will Hispanics be charged more because of their tendency to develop diabetes?

Will Afro-Americans be charged a higher premium, due to their increased rate of occurance of hypertension and cardiovascular disease?

Will those with advanced college degrees be charged less, because they are assumed to be smarter than the uneducated and thus more likely to take good care of themselves?

Will those who live on farms be charged less than those in urban areas, because everyone knows (!!) that farm life promotes a healthier life style than does urban living.

How about alcoholics? Will they be charged a higher premium, since if they drink excessively, they will probably need a liver transplant.

And on and on and on...

It will never end, or will it? Maybe those with very high IQs, since they're special, won't be required to buy any insurance at all...
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 02:20 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Quote:
Might well be so. But since we've got it since 1885 ... it's hard to change now


Oh I never paid more for insurance the times in my life I was overweight or the times in my life that I used to jump out of aircrafts every weekend or when I own a MX ultralight and would fly it often IE an open frame craft that look like a go-cart with wings.

I was in a pool of insure people some with higher and some with lower risks factors.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 11:26 pm
We cannot blame everything on smokers.
The average Swede sees a doctor 6 times a year. The average German sees a doctor 18 times a year.
German doctors operate more than other doctors within EU/Europe/Western World I have forgotten which. Many of these operations are completely unneccesary.

saab
 
  1  
Reply Fri 15 Nov, 2013 11:43 pm
@saab,
Cause of death after heart and cancer illness is simply medicin.
You go from doctor to drugstore thinking you life will improve and then it will cause your death.
Again something you cannot blame on smokers or overweight people.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Nov, 2013 12:45 am
@saab,
saab wrote:
The average German sees a doctor 18 times a year.
The actual number is a bit less, but the average is generally true.
A quarter of Germans gets doctor's consultation about 24 times a year - due to the fact that they are over 60 .... and many living in nursing homes.
(We are helping an old neighbour - the doctor is visiting her every week in her home.)
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Nov, 2013 02:01 am
@saab,
I forgot to add this is in Denmark, where the third cause of death is medicin
0 Replies
 
 

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