Monday, June 18, 2007

Possibly a Good Idea

Healthy habits could change your insurance ratings?

That could be a good idea if done right.

First off, it shouldn't be total pass or fail but on a graduated scale. No normal person lives a 100% healthy lifestyle, while I think I know a few people who do everything wrong. First off there should be small individual benefits for moderate or no drinking, not smoking, or being excessively out of line with your weight and penalties for smoking, heavy drinking, being 25% over your recommended weight etc. (A number of small breaks can add up if you do a lot of things right, and it is easier to be rewarded for doing what you can do rather than doing nothing right because you have to be perfect to get any reward at all.)

Secondly the insured should cover the penalty and receive most of the benefit in their co-pay as a personal reward or penalty.

Third it should be genuine health issues and not the cultural fad or politically correct idea of the moment. It should not reward being a pure vegetarian as that is a cultural and political thing (while eating tons of fatty meats is a problem, lean meat is not that much of one. One's meat eating should be judged by cholesterol levels, not some New Age vegan freak's idea of proper diet.)

Fourth, it needs to be clear that this is a reward for healthy behavior and not a legalistic attempt to force someone to live a certain way. We cannot allow certain elements of our society to be self-righteous about this.


Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

The hospital that I worked in tried this 20 years ago. Lower premiums for non-smokers etc. Higher premiums for smokers and boozers etc. They dropped it after one year because of lawsuits alleging intrusion into private lives.

12:22 AM  
Blogger ChrisA said...

In theory, it sounds like a great idea. It seems that in practice it wouldn't be.


8:30 PM  

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