A new solution to the obesity crisis?

It looks like I might need to lose some weight and start exercising more to cut back the cholesterol and lower my blood pressure? Oh yea, my employers do NOT provide health insurance to me?

If they did, I sure hope they would pay me more and provide “guilt-free” paid vacation versus stressing me out to the tilt  and providing no paid vacation time?

This policy is about blame the employee (victim) and benefit the company. It sounds great on the surface, to encourage people to be more healthy, but it is not encouraging people to be more healthy. It is punishing people who appear unhealthy by choice. Some of these individuals might not have much of a choice with their weight, blood pressure, or cholesterol levels. These things are inherited for some people. In addition, this starts the “slippery slope” to what else are corporations or insurance companies going to penalize the worker for; age,  family medical history,……

In addition, let’s take a look at the average America worker. It is my understanding that American workers have worked longer hours, produced more goods and have received less pay and less vacation time, than any other industrialized nation in the past couple of years. We also pay more for our health insurance coverage and receive less. So if companies were so concerned about the workers health don’t you think they would compensate their worker more for their effort or provide more vacation time to help them relax or exercise?   

Another thought, I thought the concept of insurance was to benefit the whole group and not a select few. Insurance is about averaging the risk to the whole group to reduce the cost if individuals were to purchase it individually? This sounds like another example of the “Me Society” versus the “We Society”, that we use to live in?   

A new solution to the obesity crisis? – Sep. 4, 2007
(FSB Magazine) — Midwestern hospital operator Clarian Health caused a stir when it announced that next year employees who smoke will be assessed $5 per paycheck in extra insurance copayments, and that in 2009 it will extend the penalty to workers with high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose; obese employees will be charged $10 extra.

Final federal rules for such programs went into effect in July, giving employers firm legal footing to push workers into healthier lifestyles. Rex Materials, a $20-million-a-year maker of insulation in Fowlerville, Mich., has proved the programs work. In 2005 president David Rex offered to cut premium copays $10 a week, or about 20%, for workers on the PPO plan who undergo a health-risk assessment.Those who maintained a minimum rating or raised their scores closer to the cutoff by taking steps such as quitting smoking or lowering blood pressure kept the discount.

In 2006, when the average small firm saw health premiums rise 8.8%, Rex had no increase. Sharon Cohen, health-care benefits counsel at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, says Rex’s carrot beats Clarian’s stick. “Positive reinforcement always works better,” she says.


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