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Firms to charge smokers, obese more for healthcare

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Party Rooster, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Party Rooster

    Party Rooster Unleash The Beast

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    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011...Type=RSS&feedName=domesticNews&rpc=22&sp=true
     
  2. Creasy Bear

    Creasy Bear gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
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    Stupid move.

    What they should do is give "incentive discounts" to non-smokers and non-bloated slobs instead. It'd accomplish the exact same thing... but you wouldn't have to listen to the fatsos pissing and moaning about how the "fat tax" is an insult their tender, pudgy pride, and you wouldn't have to hear the smokers hacking and wheezing about their freedoms and rights to kill themselves and stink the joint up.
     
  3. Mags

    Mags Edgelord
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    I'm ok with this. Fuck fatsos and stinky smokers.
     
  4. Ballbuster1

    Ballbuster1 In The Danger Zone...
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    Never gonna happen. You could say the same thing about late fees. Give people an incentive
    to pay early instead of charging more to someone that can't pay in the 1st place but that
    doesn't add cash to their pockets.

    Yup. Charge more to the ones that require the most payouts.
    Been working with car insurance for years.
     
  5. Creasy Bear

    Creasy Bear gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
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    It can easily be made into a zero sum game. It's just simple mathematics... you just tally up what you'd be gaining from the "fines" on fatties and Joe Cancers, and you gave that exact sum as a "rewards" to skinny non-smokers.

    The hospital I used to work for did exactly that... they started out with "Unhealthy fine" policy on their employees, but after the fatties pissed and moaned, they did away with the "unhealthy fine", raised the base rate of health insurance premiums, and then gave the resulting gain to the skinny employees as a "Healthy reward".

    In the end the situation was mathematically identical... it was relabeled for the purposes of feel-good semantics. It worked... the fatties didn't feel penalized for being fat, and the skinny people felt rewarded for being skinny. Winner winner chicken dinner(the crunchy kind of chicken for the fatties).
     
  6. Pigdango

    Pigdango Silence, you mortal Fuck!
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    You're close, but remember the goal is certainly NOT a zero sum game, and it's certainly not improving people's habits or their health. The goal is to raise profits. With that in mind, the more appropriate solution would be to raise prices for everyone across the board, and deal back Non-Smokers and those who participate in "Agency Approved" Wellness programs. And of course you don't deal them anywhere near back to the previous rates. That way you not only get the extra dough from the fatties and the smokers, but from the lazy people and the people that don't want their employers or their health providers telling them how to live maaaaaaaaan. That's what my company does with their health provider. I'm not obese nor am I a smoker, but I've yet to participate in one of their Wellness Programs (which involves spending an hour on the phone every few weeks with a "Wellness Counselor") to get a $100 rebate.
     
  7. kloraferm

    kloraferm Humor is reason gone mad

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    What about stinky fatsos?
     
  8. Don the Radio Guy

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    I'd agree with you, but positive reinforcement hasn't worked with getting people to eat healthy or stop smoking. Maybe it's time to start punishing people where it hurts the most. The wallet. If I were the owner of a business I'd buy really cheap chairs and put very narrow doorways in all of my rooms. Fuck those fat slobs.
     
  9. whiskeyguy

    whiskeyguy PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.

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    As a smoker I'm fine with this. If I cost the company more to insure I'm fine with contributing more to my insurance. The company didn't make my unhealthy decisions for me and shouldn't be responsible for paying for them. Likewise, the other employees shouldn't have their rates raised to subsidize my unhealthy habits.
     
  10. BIV

    BIV I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.

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    Wait, isn't the whole point of having health insurance is to cover the things that make you unhealthy? If I was healthy I wouldn't need health insurance.
     
  11. MayrMeninoCrash

    MayrMeninoCrash Liberal Psycopath

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    Also isn't this the point of group healthcare? To spread the risks out? Cover a few fattys and smokers by also covering those with less health problems. If we are going to break everyone's habits down and decide what they need to pay, why not just abolish groups altogether? You might not be a smoker or a fatty, but be susceptible to heart disease, cancer or any other number of health maladies. Seems like a slippery slope to start going down.
     
  12. whiskeyguy

    whiskeyguy PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.

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    Group health care (and health care in general) spreads all risks over the entire group, so if someone is in a car accident the theory is the payments from healthy people go to that person and their $200,000 medical bills.

    However, when it comes to personal decisions there's a way to reduce insurance costs... by forcing those who make bad decisions to pay more of a premium that fairly reflects their burden on the group policy. Instead of making all premiums 3% higher, make the premiums of the obese and smokers 5% higher because that reflects the added strain on the policy they represent.

    Like ballbuster said, that's how it works with auto insurance. A person with two DUIs pays a lot more than a housewife who hasn't gotten a ticket since 1987, because the guy with the DUIs is going to cost the insurance company more.
     
  13. MayrMeninoCrash

    MayrMeninoCrash Liberal Psycopath

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    That's not how it works with auto insurance - Auto insurance is typically based on individual habits not groups. Your example would have the housewife's rate increase as her neighbor collects another DUI, reflecting the overall risk of the neighborhood, and the neighborhood coming together and telling drunkards they need to shoulder more of the burden.

    Personally I think it's all another cash grab. I checked my insurance to see what wellness benefits they offer, and I found out they don't offer any sort of credit for a weight-loss program, diet or exercise regimen (like a Jenny Craig or 24-hr Fitness membership) and I was prescribed Phentermine to help with appetite control and had to pay the full price for the medication. Meanwhile they happily cover their portion after co-pay on my blood pressure and blood sugar medicines. It's all backwards.....
     
  14. Creasy Bear

    Creasy Bear gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
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    Oh absolutely... they're most definitely looking to squeeze money, not gravy, out of the tubs of lard. They know damn well this won't motivate anybody to lose weight and/or quit smoking and they could give a fuck either way.
     
  15. whiskeyguy

    whiskeyguy PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.

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    But that's exactly how it works. Insurance companies use zip codes along with personal driving habits to dictate rates... so if you're in an area where people drive like morons (and thus there are a lot of accidents) the rate for the entire area rises. I don't think it's the businesses (or the "neighbors") decided how much more smokers or obese people pay in this story, but rather the insurance companies gave them an alternate rate for people with bad habits that keep the overall price down.

    That's why some businesses drug test... it keeps the rates lower because the insurance companies know that it's very unlikely a drug user exists in the group. Now short of simply not hiring smokers or obese people, having alternate rates is another way to reduce the cost of insurance on the more healthy employees and the company as a whole.
     
  16. MayrMeninoCrash

    MayrMeninoCrash Liberal Psycopath

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    They might charge more for certain zip codes because thefts and vandalism rates are higher in that particular area, but I've never heard of a company that charged higher rates just because there are more drunk drivers in an area than average. I'd like to see your source for that info. Which cities have the worst incidence of DUI and therefore the highest insurance rates?
     
  17. whiskeyguy

    whiskeyguy PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.

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    Just did a quick search and this page from ensurance.com was the top result. Here's a quote from the page:

    Including the area's claim history means they consider the driving habits of the area overall. For example, if they have 45 drunk drivers to every 1,000 insured in one area, as opposed to 12 in another zip code, the rates will probably be higher. Same with speeding, total number of accidents, weather-caused accidents, road conditions, and so on.

    http://www.esurance.com/insurance-resources/rates-zip
     
  18. JonBenetRamsey

    JonBenetRamsey well shit the bed

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    don't these health insurance companies know that some people are genetically larger that others and that is a healthy weight for them?
     
  19. Creasy Bear

    Creasy Bear gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
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    I pay less to insure two cars in Indianapolis than I did on just one of the same exact cars when I lived on Long Island... less then half... instantly.

    It's not just a matter of driving habits either. It's also the litigation climate of certain areas. Everybody on Long Island walks around with a rabid Jew lawyer in their back pockets... and it affects ALL insurance rates; home, auto, medical, etc...
     
  20. Creasy Bear

    Creasy Bear gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
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    It's not a matter of size... it's proportion... BMI. You can be big and healthy, but you can't(generally, statistically, physiologically speaking) be fat and healthy.
     
  21. Norm Stansfield

    Norm Stansfield 私は亀が好きだ。

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    The point of health insurance is to pass risks onto the insurer. Same as the point of every other insurance. Smokers, fat people, older people, etc have higher risks, therefor it should cost more to pass it onto an insurer.

    It should have nothing whatsoever to do with "bad behavior" or "incentives to be better" etc. The economic justification (the math) should be enough to charge everyone who is unhealthy in any way (chosen or unlucky) more for their insurance.
     
  22. JonBenetRamsey

    JonBenetRamsey well shit the bed

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    the bmi is a bullshit scale. it was made about 100 years ago with data that was wrong for that time.
     
  23. jimmyslostchin

    jimmyslostchin Malarkey is slang for bullshit isn't it?

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    Even if BMI is a fucked up scale, there's a healthy amount of body fat, and an unhealthy amount. You don't have to be a dietitian to know which is which.
     
  24. Creasy Bear

    Creasy Bear gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh
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    It's not bullshit. It may not be pinpoint accurate, but it's a damned good indicator of how much blubber a person is carrying. You grant a margin of error at 5% for determining who's a fatty for insurance purposes and that puts you well outside the margin of error of an electronic BMI analyzer... new technology... not 100 year old data. And even if you spot them 5%, trust me, they'll still be PLENTY of people popping porker on the Flab-O-Meter.

    [​IMG]

    BMI's for people who are heavily muscled may give a false fat reading, but look around, how many people do you see walking around with that "problem"? It'd only apply to a tiny percentage of females, and musclebound galoot dudes would have no problem rectifying a false fat reading... one glance at them would explain the situation. Any non-retarded tech operating a BMI analyzer could spot the difference between a bodybuilder and a blubber butt and record the results accordingly.



    boydaway... I registered a 19% on the Flab-O-Meter during my insurance screening a coupla months back.

    Just braggin'

    Not too bad for an ol' relic like myself.
     
  25. Voss's Tumor

    Voss's Tumor Banned

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    We had a guy in my power school class who was on remedial PT because of the BMI. He was in the best shape of anyone I've ever fucking known. He didn't mind the remedial because he would have been working out during that time anyway, he actually ended up leading the class. Hell, I think I'm considered obese by some scales at 6'4" 220.

    Anyway, I think a much better indicator for these companies is what type of company they're insuring. Real Estate companies, Oil Companies, Stock Brokerages, etc, those mother fuckers are going to have a heart attack by 60. I know, my entire family's in that category.
     

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