November 4, 2009

RAISING THE COST OF SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR IS JUST COMMON SENSE:

Insurance discounts for healthy habits spur debate in Washington: Safeway says it's a smart incentive: charging lower premiums for people who lose weight, quit smoking or start exercising. Some medical groups say it's a new way to exclude pre-existing conditions. (Janet Hook, November 4, 2009, LA Times)

Who could object to rewarding people who quit smoking, lose weight or start to exercise? The American Cancer Society and the American Heart Assn., for starters.

Some companies are charging lower insurance premiums to workers who meet benchmarks for healthy living. The Senate's healthcare overhaul legislation would expand the trend.

But instead of cheering the proposal, some patient advocacy and health groups are worried that it could mean higher rates for less-fit Americans, possibly pricing them out of their employers' insurance plans.

"It is a way of cherry-picking," said Dick Woodruff, senior director of federal affairs for the American Cancer Society.


For the consumer. They can pick the lower rate or the higher by their own moral choices.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 4, 2009 6:43 AM
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