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Do you think obese/overweight people should pay more for health insurance?

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Replies

  • MoiAussi93
    MoiAussi93 Posts: 1,947 Member
    cppeace wrote: »
    It should be based on your actual health/how much you go to a doctor. I haven't been in 3 years- before that it was only once in 3 years. I've been to a doctor maybe 6 times in 15 years. I'm obese and have been so almost my whole life. I know plenty of "normal" weight people who go 2-6 times a year.

    If you haven't been to a doctor in three years and have been obese for most of your life, you really have no idea if you are healthy or not. Many serious diseases don't show symptoms. You could have dangerously high blood pressure. You could have developed diabetes. You could have high cholesterol. You really have no idea. Do yourself a big favor and go for a checkup ASAP.

    Regardless of how you feel, you are a high risk person.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    Gisel2015 wrote: »
    cppeace wrote: »
    It should be based on your actual health/how much you go to a doctor. I haven't been in 3 years- before that it was only once in 3 years. I've been to a doctor maybe 6 times in 15 years. I'm obese and have been so almost my whole life. I know plenty of "normal" weight people who go 2-6 times a year.

    So you don't get pap smears or breast examinations either, what about testing your blood glucose and BP? There is a high risk for complications for being obese and just because you don't have any problems right now doesn't mean that you will not in the future (hopefully you never will)? Wow, that is too risky.

    The poster you're referring to hasn't been to a doctor in 3 years She has no clue if she has any health problems or not.

    Remember the public service ads where hypertension is referred to as the silent killer?
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,770 Member
    Obesity in America is strongly correlated with poverty. That's due to a number of factors: poor people have less education, fewer opportunities to take part in healthy activities, may live in neighborhoods which are not safe to walk, bike or run in, and may eat suboptimal processed foods which are bolstered by American subsidies.

    It doesn't make a lot of sense to change poor people more. They don't have the money.
  • JohnnyPenso
    JohnnyPenso Posts: 412 Member
    Merrysix wrote: »
    The whole point of health insurance is to spread the risk -- the way you do that is have large pools of people, all of who enroll (and are encouraged to do so) by paying reasonable premiums. Once you start dicing and slicing risk pools, then insurance becomes too expensive for vast numbers of premiums, and the whole point of spreading the risk (and reducing the cost) is lost.

    Everybody has different risk factors (as has been pointed out here) -- to set everyone in different risk pools is counterproductive to the whole notion of health insurance. Also, the idea of health insurance (which is why high deductible policies don't make economic sense) is for people to seek health care early before the health condition gets out of control and is very expensive to treat (e.g. Type 2 diabetes) -- causing health insurance to be too expensive is a disincentive for people to get insurance -- then they can't afford preventative health care.

    I studied these things when I got my graduate degree in public health. Most people don't really have an opportunity to learn about health insurance, or health care for that matter. For example, accessibility without affordability means nothing when it comes to getting the health care you need. It has to be both accessible and affordable.

    Finally, there are quite a few studies that show exercise is more important to health than weight, etc., etc.

    Insurance is separated into pools all the time. Try going to get an individual disability insurance plan if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. Try getting life insurance under the same conditions. Try getting car insurance if you've had two at faults in the last year. Identifiably higher risks pay higher premiums all the time, I'm not sure why obesity should get a pass.
  • tomteboda
    tomteboda Posts: 2,171 Member
    Merrysix wrote: »
    The whole point of health insurance is to spread the risk -- the way you do that is have large pools of people, all of who enroll (and are encouraged to do so) by paying reasonable premiums. Once you start dicing and slicing risk pools, then insurance becomes too expensive for vast numbers of premiums, and the whole point of spreading the risk (and reducing the cost) is lost.

    Everybody has different risk factors (as has been pointed out here) -- to set everyone in different risk pools is counterproductive to the whole notion of health insurance. Also, the idea of health insurance (which is why high deductible policies don't make economic sense) is for people to seek health care early before the health condition gets out of control and is very expensive to treat (e.g. Type 2 diabetes) -- causing health insurance to be too expensive is a disincentive for people to get insurance -- then they can't afford preventative health care.

    I studied these things when I got my graduate degree in public health. Most people don't really have an opportunity to learn about health insurance, or health care for that matter. For example, accessibility without affordability means nothing when it comes to getting the health care you need. It has to be both accessible and affordable.

    Finally, there are quite a few studies that show exercise is more important to health than weight, etc., etc.

    People are going to love it when genetic tests are required.
  • old_me
    old_me Posts: 70 Member
    I'm Canadian, so I can't speak from experience since we have a Universal health care system. However, I don't think additional insurance premiums for obese would be effective in motivating people to be healthier.
  • ASKyle
    ASKyle Posts: 1,475 Member
    Those that choose to be a burden on our healthcare system should be charged more. This does not go for those who are not overweight by choice.

    This goes for smokers, the obese, and those that refuse a free annual exam. My company already charges more for smokers, and raises premiums $50/month if you don't have proof of a wellness exam.
  • DrEnalg
    DrEnalg Posts: 650 Member
    edited May 2017
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    DrEnalg wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Frankly, the biggest issue in my mind is the idea that most people get their insurance thru a group plan via their job. This provides a disincentive to come up with these variable options. I'd rather insurance was always bought individually. Then it stays with you from job to job and likely there would be more flexibility.

    This is true. Tying insurance to job is problematic in a number of ways.

    ... and the fact that quality health insurance for most in America has been invariably tied to people's employment is a side-effect of the disastrous government policy of making the cost of group health employment benefits tax-deductible for employers.

    No, the cost of group health benefits for employees is treated no differently than the wages and salaries from a corporate tax perspective.

    The big thing from a tax perspective is the employee gets the company paid portion of the heath insurance premium and does not have to pay income taxes on it. Change to some government funded plan paid for by taxes, those employees lose that benefit. If the employer gives additional cash compensation, that compensation is taxed at the employee's marginal tax rate.

    I thought it was... (for example: http://healthcoverageguide.org/part-one/reasons-to-purchase-group-coverage/)

    Anyways, the point is the tying of health insurance to one's job is a side effect of government intervention (as is hyperinflation of medical costs). Each time government has intervened in the market for healthcare-related goods and services, regardless of how well-intentioned the intervention is, it's become more and more dysfunctional, which causes people to call for more government intervention.

    End result is: we're gonna get to 100% government-run healthcare in the USA, I have no doubt. So-called "single payer healthcare" is baked in the cake at this point, and you bet they'll discriminate against fat people. After all, they're already doing it in the UK: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/02/obese-patients-and-smokers-banned-from-all-routine-operations-by/

    But they love their government-run healthcare, so I suppose we should too.

  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited May 2017
    ASKyle wrote: »
    Those that choose to be a burden on our healthcare system should be charged more. This does not go for those who are not overweight by choice.

    How are you going to determine who is overweight by choice vs. who is not? (Remember, this has to be done in connection with the purchase/signing up for health insurance.)

    Would people who are not smokers by choice be exempted?
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    DrEnalg wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    DrEnalg wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Frankly, the biggest issue in my mind is the idea that most people get their insurance thru a group plan via their job. This provides a disincentive to come up with these variable options. I'd rather insurance was always bought individually. Then it stays with you from job to job and likely there would be more flexibility.

    This is true. Tying insurance to job is problematic in a number of ways.

    ... and the fact that quality health insurance for most in America has been invariably tied to people's employment is a side-effect of the disastrous government policy of making the cost of group health employment benefits tax-deductible for employers.

    No, the cost of group health benefits for employees is treated no differently than the wages and salaries from a corporate tax perspective.

    The big thing from a tax perspective is the employee gets the company paid portion of the heath insurance premium and does not have to pay income taxes on it. Change to some government funded plan paid for by taxes, those employees lose that benefit. If the employer gives additional cash compensation, that compensation is taxed at the employee's marginal tax rate.

    I thought it was... (for example: http://healthcoverageguide.org/part-one/reasons-to-purchase-group-coverage/)

    Anyways, the point is the tying of health insurance to one's job is a side effect of government intervention (as is hyperinflation of medical costs). Each time government has intervened in the market for healthcare-related goods and services, regardless of how well-intentioned the intervention is, it's become more and more dysfunctional, which causes people to call for more government intervention.

    End result is: we're gonna get to 100% government-run healthcare in the USA, I have no doubt. So-called "single payer healthcare" is baked in the cake at this point, and you bet they'll discriminate against fat people. After all, they're already doing it in the UK: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/02/obese-patients-and-smokers-banned-from-all-routine-operations-by/

    But they love their government-run healthcare, so I suppose we should too.

    The article is just pointing out to small business owners that they can deduct the cost of employee insurance as a business expense (same as the employee's salary). I'm not a tax specialist, but I am a CPA with 30+ years experience with a multi-billion $ corporation so have a bit of an idea how it works :).

    The idea of employer provided health care goes back to the WW2 era. The government issued wage controls, but exempted paid health insurance from those controls.

    https://www.zanebenefits.com/blog/part-1-the-history-of-u.s.-employer-provided-health-insurance-post-world-war-ii
  • DrEnalg
    DrEnalg Posts: 650 Member
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    DrEnalg wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    DrEnalg wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Frankly, the biggest issue in my mind is the idea that most people get their insurance thru a group plan via their job. This provides a disincentive to come up with these variable options. I'd rather insurance was always bought individually. Then it stays with you from job to job and likely there would be more flexibility.

    This is true. Tying insurance to job is problematic in a number of ways.

    ... and the fact that quality health insurance for most in America has been invariably tied to people's employment is a side-effect of the disastrous government policy of making the cost of group health employment benefits tax-deductible for employers.

    No, the cost of group health benefits for employees is treated no differently than the wages and salaries from a corporate tax perspective.

    The big thing from a tax perspective is the employee gets the company paid portion of the heath insurance premium and does not have to pay income taxes on it. Change to some government funded plan paid for by taxes, those employees lose that benefit. If the employer gives additional cash compensation, that compensation is taxed at the employee's marginal tax rate.

    I thought it was... (for example: http://healthcoverageguide.org/part-one/reasons-to-purchase-group-coverage/)

    Anyways, the point is the tying of health insurance to one's job is a side effect of government intervention (as is hyperinflation of medical costs). Each time government has intervened in the market for healthcare-related goods and services, regardless of how well-intentioned the intervention is, it's become more and more dysfunctional, which causes people to call for more government intervention.

    End result is: we're gonna get to 100% government-run healthcare in the USA, I have no doubt. So-called "single payer healthcare" is baked in the cake at this point, and you bet they'll discriminate against fat people. After all, they're already doing it in the UK: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/02/obese-patients-and-smokers-banned-from-all-routine-operations-by/

    But they love their government-run healthcare, so I suppose we should too.

    The article is just pointing out to small business owners that they can deduct the cost of employee insurance as a business expense (same as the employee's salary). I'm not a tax specialist, but I am a CPA with 30+ years experience with a multi-billion $ corporation so have a bit of an idea how it works :).

    The idea of employer provided health care goes back to the WW2 era. The government issued wage controls, but exempted paid health insurance from those controls.

    https://www.zanebenefits.com/blog/part-1-the-history-of-u.s.-employer-provided-health-insurance-post-world-war-ii

    Yeah, you're right. I may have the details wrong on the margins.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,774 Member
    The most recent evidence comes from a study published in “The Journal of the American Medical Association.” Researchers found that, here in the United States, about one out of every two deaths from heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes is linked to a poor diet. That’s 1,000 deaths every day.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/improve-patient-diets-doctor-kitchen/
  • 4kids6grands
    4kids6grands Posts: 2 Member
    edited May 2017
    <deleted. accidentally posted on someone else's account after showing them how to use mfp>
  • runningforthetrain
    runningforthetrain Posts: 1,037 Member
    Slippery slope IMHO.
    1st...smokers.
    2nd...obesity.
    next????
    Genetic predispositions based on DNA.
    What you ate for dinner.
    How much sleep you get.
    How fast you drive your car to work.
    What type of activities you do or don't participate in after work hours.

    Where does it stop?
    Corporations already have the power of PACs pushing corporate agendas.
    Do we really want to encourage them to take more power when it comes to how they price health insurance based on varying factors?

    "Careful what you wish, you may regret it. Careful what you wish, you just might get it"

    And of course it will all be in the name of "saving the company a few bucks" and "controlling skyrocketing insurance costs" which invariably get passed to you anyway. Yes...even the healthy "you" in the form of cost increases that outpace standard of living wage increases.

    ^This. Not sure I could of said it any better.
  • DeficitDuchess
    DeficitDuchess Posts: 3,099 Member
    edited May 2017
    Slippery slope IMHO.
    1st...smokers.
    2nd...obesity.
    next????
    Genetic predispositions based on DNA.
    What you ate for dinner.
    How much sleep you get.
    How fast you drive your car to work.
    What type of activities you do or don't participate in after work hours.

    Where does it stop?
    Corporations already have the power of PACs pushing corporate agendas.
    Do we really want to encourage them to take more power when it comes to how they price health insurance based on varying factors?

    "Careful what you wish, you may regret it. Careful what you wish, you just might get it"

    And of course it will all be in the name of "saving the company a few bucks" and "controlling skyrocketing insurance costs" which invariably get passed to you anyway. Yes...even the healthy "you" in the form of cost increases that outpace standard of living wage increases.

    This' already occurring with life insurance if, you post a picture of yourself publicly upon social media of; you skydiving or they find it elsewhere by; Googling your name, etc., they'll charge you more for being; at a higher risk of death!

    http://www.insurancequotes.org/auto/your-social-media-could-affect-your-insurance-rates/
  • HazyEyes93
    HazyEyes93 Posts: 89 Member
    If you can be charged more for any existing condition, then yes. Being obese makes you a higher risk customer to an insurance company. Period. Should the be allowed to deny you? No. But just like car insurance, the riskier it is for them to insure you, the more you have to pay.
  • crazyycatladyy1
    crazyycatladyy1 Posts: 156 Member
    edited May 2017
    MoiAussi93 wrote: »
    DrEnalg wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    DrEnalg wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    Frankly, the biggest issue in my mind is the idea that most people get their insurance thru a group plan via their job. This provides a disincentive to come up with these variable options. I'd rather insurance was always bought individually. Then it stays with you from job to job and likely there would be more flexibility.

    This is true. Tying insurance to job is problematic in a number of ways.

    ... and the fact that quality health insurance for most in America has been invariably tied to people's employment is a side-effect of the disastrous government policy of making the cost of group health employment benefits tax-deductible for employers.

    No, the cost of group health benefits for employees is treated no differently than the wages and salaries from a corporate tax perspective.

    The big thing from a tax perspective is the employee gets the company paid portion of the heath insurance premium and does not have to pay income taxes on it. Change to some government funded plan paid for by taxes, those employees lose that benefit. If the employer gives additional cash compensation, that compensation is taxed at the employee's marginal tax rate.

    I thought it was... (for example: http://healthcoverageguide.org/part-one/reasons-to-purchase-group-coverage/)

    Anyways, the point is the tying of health insurance to one's job is a side effect of government intervention (as is hyperinflation of medical costs). Each time government has intervened in the market for healthcare-related goods and services, regardless of how well-intentioned the intervention is, it's become more and more dysfunctional, which causes people to call for more government intervention.

    End result is: we're gonna get to 100% government-run healthcare in the USA, I have no doubt. So-called "single payer healthcare" is baked in the cake at this point, and you bet they'll discriminate against fat people. After all, they're already doing it in the UK: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/02/obese-patients-and-smokers-banned-from-all-routine-operations-by/

    But they love their government-run healthcare, so I suppose we should too.

    This is going off topic, but I really wish more Americans understood what the drawbacks of single payer are. Soooo many people think it is wonderful...but if they are told they need to wait a year for that back surgery, they will probably riot. They think the government has an unlimited supply of money and everything should be free (healthcare, college, housing, food, etc.) but free for them just means some other taxpayers paid for it, and when their taxpayer money runs out, rationing results. The grass is always greener...

    Our NHS is presently being purposefully underfunded so it can be privatised by the tories, it is an amazing institution (and has saved the lives of myself and my family on numerous occasions), on top of this if you wish you can go private (google BUPA) or get private insurance if you want a non-emergency surgery where waiting lists exist. Our healthcare cost are less than half per person of those in the US and we have better outcomes for the general population. Sure you have the best healthcare if you are wealthy and can afford the best coverage/out of pocket care but universally that is not the case. I am an above average earner and I am happy for my taxes to be spent on the NHS, it is one of the things I am most proud of about my country. Healthcare should not be a business no different than any other emergency service.

    My only hope is that we can reverse the damage the Tories have done to our healthcare service, I balk at the idea that this sort of discussion might one day be our reality in the UK if we have to endure another Conservative parliament.

    Do you know how much you actually pay per year for your health costs (taxes etc). Would be curious to compare your number with what my family spends per year.