Health Insurer’s Latest Idea: Eat Right, Drink Right, and Avoid the Docs

The Texas Association of Health Plans newsletter reports that:

…It is widely known that the three leading causes of death in the country are heart disease, cancer and stroke. However, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the "actual" causes of death to be lifestyle-related. It reports that three leading actual causes of death to be (1) poor diet/lack of exercise; (2) tobacco use; and (3) alcohol abuse.

It also quotes Dr. Christine Cassell, president of the American Board of Internal Medicine, as observing that "There is a stark correlation between reduced utilization and better outcomes."

So, stop smoking, stop drinking, eat tofu, avoid medical care and….maybe…. just maybe….we'll lower your premiums.

Comments (8)

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  1. Ken says:

    Always nice to get the insurance company point of view.

  2. Bart says:

    This reminds me of a TV news segment I once saw about a Southern Cal earthquake that damaged some water and gas mains, accompanied by shots of flooded streets with flames erupting out of the water. A local resident is heard saying, “In California there are only four things to fear: earth, air, fire, and water.”

    To food, leisure, tobacco, and alcohol, add sex and occupation. These are all no doubt significant, but even with all these risk factors removed, there will still be health costs.

    I’m not sure which would be worse: trying to monitor all of these behaviors in order to punish them in the premium, to base the risk assessment entirely on medical history on the presumption that any illness present must have been caused by risky behavior.

  3. Bart says:

    Sorry, that last should have been “…[or] to base the risk assessment…”

  4. Larry C. says:

    Im with Bart. Shouldn’t insurance premiums include the presumption that we lead normal lives, including taking reasonble risks?

  5. Tom H. says:

    Truth is,insurance companies have very weak incentives to encouarge their insureds to eat right and to stop drinking and smoking. People who live healthier lifestyles are mainly saving money for Medicare, not their current insurer.

  6. Louise R says:

    It might be a good idea to ignore the advice to eat tofu.

  7. promosyon says:

    tesekkürler güzel paylasım

  8. seo says:

    good information thanx