Employees' unhealthy habits have a growing effect on their insurance premiums.
In an effort to rein in soaring medical-insurance costs — now estimated at more than $12,000 per employee — big companies are increasingly turning from incentives to penalties to change their workers' unhealthy habits.
The most recent example is CVS Caremark, which has ignited controversy by requiring its 200,000 employees across Florida and the nation to undergo screenings to record their weight, body fat, blood glucose and blood pressure levels. If they don't do so by May 1, they'll have to pay an extra $600 for health insurance in the coming year.
The shift is drawing fire from patients' rights groups, which consider the policies coercive and a violation of privacy. At Michelin North America, the tire manufacturer, workers with thick waistlines — 40 inches and over for men, 35 and over for women — will have to pay up to $1,000 more a year in health insurance premiums than their leaner coworkers. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-04-12/news/os-employee-health-insurance-20130412_1_cvs-caremark-insurance-premiums-health-insurance
My take on it: The only way to get healthcare costs under control is taking personal responsibility for our health. No doctor will do it for us. And the only way to get people to change their lives is by monetary encouragement. Many can find a bunch of great reasons why they cannot help it...but money talks.
I also would suggest that medicaid patients pay a certain amount for every visit to a doctor. I see every day that people on medicaid run to a doctor without much reason and with no results.
But Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor at Boston University School of Public Health, sees policies such as CVS' as "a slippery slope".
"What are people going to be penalized for next?" Siegel said. "Will they ask how many times you go out for fast food each week? Are they going to ask how much people drink? Are they going to ask about sexual behavior? What if an employee is having unsafe sex? It opens the door to asking people all kinds of personal questions that have nothing to do with how well you do your job." http://www.columbian.com/news/2013/apr/22/employees-unhealthful-habits-affect-insurance.
Personally I don't care if you eat at McDonald's every hour! Just don't blame the system and don't ask me to pay for your stupidity! The bottom line in my opinion...people should be responsible for their own actions or inaction. I personally do not want to pay extra for my insurance premium because my coworker is fat and lazy and drinks and smokes. In this country we the people should bare the consequences.
“We are free to choose our paths, but we can't choose the consequences that come with them.” ―Sean Covey, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens
You want to smoke and eat ice cream every day – fine. It is your life. Just don't ask society to pay the consequences of your stupidity. Only bankers can do this!
So yes. On this rare occasion I support corporations that force people to take care of their health, regardless of the reasons that motivate corporations to do so.
Here is another money-saving idea: “Fasting - where little or no food is eaten a few days a week, can be as beneficial as exercise or surgery if you have heart disease. It improves blood pressure while releasing a protein that naturally protects the heart, and recent research suggests it may even reverse type 2 diabetes. All the benefits of fasting have been evaluated by scientists at Aston University, and they have come away with a long list that is topped by improvements to heart health, reversal of diabetes and reduction in inflammation.
Intermittent fasting - where food is not eaten on alternate days or several days a week, is also a very effective way of losing weight, says lead researcher James Brown.” http://www.wddty.com/fasting-improves-heart-health-and-may-even-reverse-diabetes.html
What an enlightening idea – instead of wasting money at McDonald's – skip the food! That will save you money on food and insurance premiums!
Your auto insurance premium depends on your driving habits and driving history.
Your home insurance premium depends on where your house is located.
Any insurance premium is a calculated risk. And health insurance is no exception. So stop whining and sign up for the gym.