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March 09, 2010

Comments

Tammy Colson

Many small businesses are out of the benefits business, with the exception of providing great benefits for the senior management. (ie. the people who decide whether to provide the benefits)

I agree that employees need to make healthier choices, and I, as a mostly health conscious individual, shouldn't have to pay for my unhealthy colleagues (or the sick people in the individual insurance pool, at outrageous prices) - but without separating health care from employment, this is the system we are stuck with.

Interviewer

Yes, we're providing the benefits and having honest talks about the cost increases. And lately, we're begun to pay employees to change behaviors toward more health & wellness.

One day, we'll spend less money, but I'm not sure when.

Kim Bailey

Penalties for unhealthy behaviors? Sounds good, but where does THAT end? Which lifestyle choice is JUST over the line....smoking, over eating, some high cholestorol level, people who participate in high risk activities (like rock climbing, skydiving, etc)....why not go all the way....check out their family and genetic history...After all, a perfectly healthy looking young person playing basketball can keel over (it's happened), having a bad heart they knew nothing about until you look at family/genetic history.

WAIT, we can't do that...that is illegal. OK, what if my co-worker gets cancer and I don't...shouldn't they pay more...after all, I'm fine! Or, if their child is born premature....I haven't got any kids, so why am I paying the same???

I know I sound like a smart alek above, but my point (and I do have one) is that who plays God when it comes to what behavior is JUST bad enough for "punishment"....How about rewards instead? I think wellness programs should focus on rewards and results, not "here's what you get if you don't..."

I just don't think we will see the lifestyle, long-term changes you mention we need (and we DO) if we want to really impact health insurance costs, with negative consequenses rather than positive feedback.

By the way, you are absolutetly right that without competition, none of us would even offer benefits....that's what's so great about free enterprise!

Just a thought!

Danic

I thing it's great when the business actively prevents one from participating in healthier behaviors. I had just started an exercise program and was going strong for a month when the endless overtime projects started.

Two months later I simply don't have the time, and the projects aren't ending anytime soon.

Cartuse

I agree that employees need to make healthier choices, and I, as an individual especially health conscious, should not have to pay for my colleagues are not healthy (or sick in the individual insurance group to outrageous prices) - but without separating health care employment, this is the system we're stuck with.

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