Proof Your Health Insurance is Not Interested in Your Health

by Ryan Wanger on October 27, 2009 · 3 comments

@KezzaMcDezza shows us why in under 140 characters:

It pisses me off that our HEALTH insurance company brings pizza and coke for a lunch and learn. #thisiswhyyourefat

(link)

Interesting to think about though. Why aren’t they interested in keeping us healthy? Shouldn’t we be granted lots of free preventative care? Won’t they save money since we’ll be paying into insurance that we won’t use?

The medical world has been messed up for a long, long time. Will our band-aid solutions be enough?

(PS - that last part of the quote is a reference to the incredible website This Is Why You Are Fat)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol 10.28.09 at 2:22 pm

The reason your health insurance company brought pizza and coke for lunch is that it is cheap, readily available, heavily advertised for decades as delicious, easy and cheap, and probably most or many Americans NEVER consider what they are actually eating. But that is changing - more and more people are beginning to understand that standard Americans foods are NOT healthy for us.

Phil Earnhardt 11.01.09 at 9:31 pm

Whole Foods Market’s CEO described their program in the WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204251404574342170072865070.html . His company has high-deductable accounts and also give employees flexible medical spending accounts to get preventative care if that’s what the individual wants.

The CEO was ostracized by the left! There was talk about boycotting Whole Foods (although I believe that has died down). That was a bizarre reaction!

Explosive Bombchelle 11.13.09 at 7:35 am

I actually work for the health and wellness arm of a Health Insurance company. I agree with Carol’s feedback regarding the pizza; it’s cheap, easy, and almost everyone eats it. But that is changing. When I joined my current company, I gained 30 pounds in 3 years (working with nurses! They love their sweets). Over the past 2 years I’ve lost 28 and the changing environment at work is part of that.

The reason the health insurance company I work with has a health and wellness arm is that it’s actually cheaper to ensure people get the right preventative care, know how to take care of their diseases and conditions, have a source to get health education from quickly, and learn how to live a healthier lifestyle (as The Reluctant Eater alludes to). The problem is, these changes are expensive in the short-term but over the long haul would make healthcare cheaper. Why is this a problem? Because employers for the most part dictate what gets covered in their plan and what doesn’t and these days it’s not in their best financial interest to invest money in people’s wellness because employers will likely not see the long term benefits. Why? Because the average person these days stays in their job less than 2 years. Health Insurance companies have the same struggle given most people stay with their plan for under 18 months. It’s hard to justify spending money to make people healthier when a company’s bottom line won’t likely benefit and therefore wall street won’t see that benefit.

Phil, the Whole Foods article is brilliant and spot on. We (the employees of a health insurance company) were the guinea pigs in the Whole Foods type plan and were at first a little taken aback but after 5 years you can see how your whole mentality over approaching health care has changed. It forces you to become a better consumer, make better choices about getting the right care at the right time (ex. not run to the ER every time you get a hang nail), to get involved with your doctor on decisions, to ask questions, and to save money for future healthcare needs. Thanks for sharing that article.

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