Monday, July 02, 2007

Clarion Health in Indianapolis

Please read this:
<http://www.wthr.com/global/story.asp?s=6714660>

Per this story Clarion is going to charge a fee of $5 per paycheck to each of its employees who have smoked within the prior six months.

I do not have a problem with the policy at all, in fact, I think it is something many companies will do in the near future.

My only concern is on how far this could go. I would think that companies may start charging those who are overweight higher premiums, which I also have no problem with. What I would have a problem with is if they start charging people higher premiums or fees for medical conditions that are not the employees fault; for example, one who is born with diabetes...

I am curious as to what you all think of this policy?

Mike Sylvester

8 comments:

Jeff Pruitt said...

If we're going to have a health insurance industry then it should based on the tenants of insurance - risk. If you are overweight, smoke, etc then you represent more risk than others and you should pay more.

The whole health insurance industry is a disaster in my opinion...

Parson said...

Yeah, it's a great idea as long as your not the overweight guy or the smoker. Actually I don't think $5 a paycheck is "unfair". I pay about $20 each pay check for insurance and I'm overweight, $5 more would make for one less fast food trip each pay period.

That is a problem with big insurance companies, how far will it go? "You mom was bitten by a vampire right before you were born?, that will be 5 extra bucks".

Tim Zank said...

Insurance companies have ALWAYS charged higher premiums for smokers. It's obvious on single policies because you can see it, but on group policies the premium is for the whole group and they take into consideration that a certain percentage of the group being insured smokes and factor the premium accordingly. They'll continue to do that (charge the group for the smokers just like they have all along), but now they are simply adding a surcharge per ADMITTED smoker too. It's extra juice pure & simple

Gloria said...

Some health care insurers won't pay for birth control, but Viagra is covered? I guess having the ability to someday become pregnant is considered being a "pre-existing" condition. What B.S. So I'm penalized for being female. Great.

I would be totally okay with taking health insurance away from those who don't use it and don't care about their bodies, i.e. those who consume junk food non-stop and who haven't eaten a vegetable in the last six months and those who smoke. I take better care of myself than some of my friends who have health insurance, yet for years I was uninsured. Now, I have "insurance," but it's not exactly a quality plan and I still consider myself "without insurance." Because of this, I'm in transition for a new career that will pay me more money than I've ever made in my life and I will have an insurance plan with just about any company I choose to work for. Plus, I'll be able to BUY insurance outside of a company plan if I need to, because I'll be able to afford it.

We are so hypocritical when it comes to health care in this country. We freak out about obesity, yet 50 million people are uninsured in this country. We are taking vending machines out of schools, but won't provide basic care to those who need it most. And if you do show up at a clinic and get care, and in the future actually do get the chance to apply for health insurance, you'll probably be denied because of your pre-existing condition you had taken care of at the clinic a few years ago.

Ugh.

Ft. Wayne Libertarian said...

I think its fine, its better than a flat out denial of service as well. But I think if we're going to do this we have to be honest.

People who have type II diabetis often get it from decades of bad eating habits and often it can be completly reversed if one goes on a strict, mostly fresh vegatables diet. People lie about changing their diet and not getting results and then spend decades on expensive insulin therapies.

Bottom line: don't just make it about the anti-smoking trend. Make it about any poor health choice.

Anonymous said...

This policy is outrageous! Body size is genetic, NOT lifestyle! Penalizing people based on risk is unfair. All risk means is that if you look at groups of people, some may have higher health costs. Not that every individual in that group will. I weight 230lbs, (proud of every ounce of my healthy beautiful body) and haven't been sick for YEARS. Why should I pay more than a thin person who gets sick? If my thin coworker paid less and did get sick I would want them to pay it back. If they penalize me for my genetics, I want the penalized for their illness. This is all about corporations telling people how to live their lives. If they kill you through overwork or pollution fine. But you have better not get any pleasure out of your own body!

Anonymous said...

p.s. Who the heck would want to live on fresh vegetables for the rest of their lives? I don't have diabetes, pear shaped people of all weights have a LOWER risk of heart disease and diabetes! Hip and thigh fat is protective) But if I did, I sure would NOT want to live with such draconian measures. If one wants or needs a bit of pleasure it should be individual choice. And if they die earlier, less drain on social security. Besides, how about people who speed? Don't practice safe sex? Drive motorcycles? Mountain climb? For that matter, joggers have higher rates of injury due to muscle pulls etc. I sure hope folks fight this. I know I am going to do everything in my power to!

Anonymous said...

Gloria, the reason we freak out over obesity is because it is profitable. Those scare studies are coming from Pharma. Many of the pills they push are dangerous, but they count any ill health effects under obesity instead of greed. This antiobesity hysteria has nothing to do with health, just sucking up more $ from the middle class to the corporate elite. And lets not forget that a guilty population is more easily manipulated by the government. Here is an interesting site that takes a closer look at all they hype behind this nonsense: http://www.junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/
Being a good libetarian is not just standing up to big government! The power-elite is so intertwined with the media and corporations, they are ALL a means of control nowdays!