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Cochise
08-22-2007, 03:29 PM
Clarian health plan makes the unfit pay more

Indianapolis - Get healthy, or pay. An Indiana-based health care chain is giving its employees a different kind of incentive to shape up. Clarian hopes the result will be healthier employees and lower health care costs. The plan is sparking a controversy that now getting national attention.

The readings taken from health screening will determine how much Clarian employees pay for health care. A new program to take effect in 2009 penalizes employees who smoke, have high blood pressure or high cholesterol by making them pay more for their premiums.

Clarian's president and CEO Daniel Evans says the idea is not to make money but to manage high health care costs and improve the health of its 26,000 employees.

"If one diabetic improves their health it will save us and the individual thousands of dollars a year," said Daniel Evans, Clarian president and CEO.

Starting this year, Clarian employees are required to go through health screenings checking for things like blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. Those who need to make changes have about a year and a half to do it. Employees who don't meet Clarian's standards in those areas as well as smoking and weight pay $5 to $10 more per paycheck for their health premiums.

The program is unique in that it penalizes rather than rewards the employee, and it's what garnered national attention when Clarian's chief defended the program to Matt Lauer Friday morning on Today.

Evans referenced an employee, Marsha Vorhis, who utilized Clarian's Weight Watchers at work program and lost more than 30 pounds. She was, however, a little embarrassed at the attention. "Oh, he did not just say my name and my weight!" she said.

Vorhis credits the penalty program for keeping her motivated. "At first I was a little upset. Now I'm happy. Now I will stick to my goal." She also believes the program will get other employees on a healthier track.

But some argue even the best programs can't help those genetically predisposed to certain health issues. "Yes, I do feel punishment because I can't afford to pay," said one Clarian employee.

With Indiana ranking fourth in the nation for obesity and second for smoking, one of its largest employers hopes to manage skyrocketing health care costs with a shape up or pay up philosophy.

Clarian says employees whose doctors certify they cannot meet the requirements because of a medical condition do not have to pay the extra premium.

StcChief
08-22-2007, 03:33 PM
Sold.

Adept Havelock
08-22-2007, 03:36 PM
Works for me.

Cochise
08-22-2007, 03:37 PM
Yeah, count me in too.

Sully
08-22-2007, 08:36 PM
Makes sense.

Jilly
08-22-2007, 08:41 PM
that's way better than just being denied healthcare all together because of one's health

Hydrae
08-22-2007, 08:42 PM
How long until they start firing people who have health issues?

I understand the attraction and feel torn on my reaction. But this seems like the start of a slope that leads downhill. :shrug:

Simplex3
08-22-2007, 10:00 PM
How long until they start firing people who have health issues?

I understand the attraction and feel torn on my reaction. But this seems like the start of a slope that leads downhill. :shrug:
The point of my business is to make money. If you're so f**ked up that you jeopardize that why shouldn't I fire you?

Now, by allowing me to force you to pay more to cover the expense of your health care, I can afford to keep you employed.

This type of stuff affects small companies even more. I worked in a company with fewer than ten employees and we almost all lost our health care when the secretary was diagnosed with cancer. She willfully resigned, basically saving everyone. In my experience people like her are the exception to the rule.

Besides, it's not like they're asking these people to double their premiums. They're looking for $5 to $10 per paycheck. This "I can't afford it" stuff is bulls**t whining. Don't buy that six pack, or that box of Ho-Ho's, or that pack of smokes, or the other crap that's destroying your health and you have it covered. If you choose to continue doing that stuff you've chosen to get a different job. So what?

ChiefaRoo
08-22-2007, 10:45 PM
How long until they start firing people who have health issues?

I understand the attraction and feel torn on my reaction. But this seems like the start of a slope that leads downhill. :shrug:

That would violate equal right to work laws. However, private insurance companies can and do what they want.

I would like it to be structured as an incentive instead of a penalty. If you do work out, eat right, take care of your body then you should get a lower rate than some guy who drinks too much, eats like shite, smokes and works 80 hours a week in a high stress job. People like that die off all the time or worse have monstrous health issues and cost tons of money.

HonestChieffan
08-23-2007, 08:44 AM
Why am I as the employer required to hire unfit and unhealthy people to begin with?

Its my money....I should be able to establish rules for employment.

If you want health care free and have no skin in the game and can be a sloth in regards to your health...well you need to find another employer.

If you choose to smoke, why is it my responsibility to pay for your health care as you slowly die?

Jilly
08-23-2007, 11:12 AM
That would violate equal right to work laws. However, private insurance companies can and do what they want.

I would like it to be structured as an incentive instead of a penalty. If you do work out, eat right, take care of your body then you should get a lower rate than some guy who drinks too much, eats like shite, smokes and works 80 hours a week in a high stress job. People like that die off all the time or worse have monstrous health issues and cost tons of money.

that's what I was thinking... seems like this would also take help with some of the corruption in health care costs as well since pharmaceuticals/Doctors and hospitals all benefit from the unhealthy as it is now.

patteeu
08-23-2007, 11:53 AM
The issues that several people have brought up about employing high-dollar sick people are the reasons why we should end the incentives for tying health insurance to employment. People should buy their own health insurance and pay the full cost.

As for the issue of whether it's good to make sick people pay more, that's a step away from insurance toward the completely uninsured idea where everyone pays directly for the health care they consume. Maybe that's a good idea and maybe it's not. I'm not sure. It's hard to know where to draw that line.

jAZ
08-23-2007, 01:06 PM
I can accept this plan to a large extent as long as the cost of coverage is tied to a risk-increasing behaviors (ie, smoking, weight gain, etc). And not to medical conditions (ie, pre-existing conditions, genetic predispositions, etc.).

Not sure how you get around employees lying... or for example employees who are non-smokers but occasionally smoke a cigar while out with the guys.

Seems like one of those good ideas that are hard to implement in a real way.

How exactly would this work?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=477110&in_page_id=1770

I'll be interested to see the outcome of the program they put into place to see if it does anything but piss off employees.

... we should end the incentives for tying health insurance to employment.
What are you going establish additional government regulation of the insurance industry mandating that they are not permitted to offer sales incentive programs by allowing employers (big insurance customers) to pool their employee risks and obtaining lower cost insurance for their employees?

That seems like a bad idea from about 3 different directions.

patteeu
08-23-2007, 01:18 PM
What are you going establish additional government regulation of the insurance industry mandating that they are not permitted to offer sales incentive programs by allowing employers (big insurance customers) to pool their employee risks and obtaining lower cost insurance for their employees?

That seems like a bad idea from about 3 different directions.

Actually, what I had in mind was ending the tax incentive for employer-provided health care. In fact, as I look back on my post, I said, "end the incentives" not "establish additional government regulation."

Beyond that, the issue gets complicated and I don't have any really good answers, but if the choice were between employer based groups and either no groups at all or government defined groups (like we have in auto insurance), I'd opt against employer based groups for the reasons already mentioned in this thread (the disincentive employers have for hiring or retaining employees with health issues that don't otherwise impact their work).

Nightwish
08-23-2007, 01:25 PM
As for the issue of whether it's good to make sick people pay more, that's a step away from insurance toward the completely uninsured idea where everyone pays directly for the health care they consume.How is that a step away from insurance? That's how insurance works. If you have preexisting conditions, you are placed in a higher risk category, which translates into higher premiums. The only thing this seems to be doing differently than every other health insurance plan out there is that is seems to be eliminating the "uninsurable" risk category, as well as catching up employee-based package policies with industry standards.

patteeu
08-23-2007, 01:36 PM
How is that a step away from insurance? That's how insurance works. If you have preexisting conditions, you are placed in a higher risk category, which translates into higher premiums. The only thing this seems to be doing differently than every other health insurance plan out there is that is seems to be eliminating the "uninsurable" risk category, as well as catching up employee-based package policies with industry standards.

What I meant, and I didn't word it very well, is that there is a spectrum running from complete socialization where the insurance pool is equal to everyone (i.e. everyone pays the same premium without regard to individual characteristics like age, health, risk factors, etc) to the complete elimination of the insurance middleman where every person pays for all the healthcare they use. This proposal moves us a little more toward the latter. I just point this out because (a) in today's society we aren't going to let anyone completely fall through the cracks so the people who are priced out are still going to be provided for in one way or another (e.g. medicaid) and (b) general libertarian or conservative arguments in favor of moving in this direction can usually be used to move even further in this direction until you reach the end point. Something tells me that most people wouldn't be OK with going that far so there has to be some rationale for deciding where to draw the line other than those generic libertarian or conservative arguments.

BIG_DADDY
08-23-2007, 01:37 PM
Good, I'm sick of paying more so some lazy ass can have the same benefits.

jAZ
08-23-2007, 02:19 PM
Good, I'm sick of paying more so some lazy ass can have the same benefits.
You still using Steroids?

BIG_DADDY
08-23-2007, 02:33 PM
You still using Steroids?

I'm an old man now. My use has been very limited. If they could factually link that to health issues I would have no problem paying higher premiums. Then again they are using anti-aging clinics in Europe to increase health with HGH and Test but you will never hear our media in the US talking about that now will you?

jAZ
08-23-2007, 02:35 PM
I'm an old man now. My use has been very limited. If they could factually link that to health issues I would have no problem paying higher premiums. Then again they are using anti-aging clinics in Europe to increase health with HGH and Test but you will never hear our media in the US talking about that now will you?
Not trying to be a dick, but I'm guessing your "lazy" reference avoids taking personal ownership of your own high-risk (insurance view) behaviors as well.

BIG_DADDY
08-23-2007, 02:40 PM
Not trying to be a dick, but I'm guessing your "lazy" reference avoids taking personal ownership of your own high-risk (insurance view) behaviors as well.

I think I just stated otherwise didn't I?

What about people like Denver Queef that let guys ejeculate in their ass?

BIG_DADDY
08-23-2007, 02:41 PM
For the record I am in perfect health.

crazycoffey
08-23-2007, 02:42 PM
WOW - incentives to be healthy, Brilliant!

Saulbadguy
08-23-2007, 02:44 PM
I'm fat and out of shape but I don't ever go to the doctor so whatever. I get one prescription per year. I wish insurance premiums were lowered for individuals who rarely use it.

BIG_DADDY
08-23-2007, 02:46 PM
I'm fat and out of shape but I don't ever go to the doctor so whatever. I get one prescription per year. I wish insurance premiums were lowered for individuals who rarely use it.

My guess is you're young.

patteeu
08-23-2007, 02:51 PM
I suspect it's pretty common for people to wish that insurance companies would give better rates to people without risk factors or to people who don't use much healthcare... until they find out they have a risk factor or until they actually need substantial healthcare.

Saulbadguy
08-23-2007, 02:53 PM
My guess is you're young.
Yeah, 26. I see people my age going to the doctor. Generally I can link any problem I have due to the fact that i'm a fat ass, it's not hard.

Saulbadguy
08-23-2007, 02:55 PM
I suspect it's pretty common for people to wish that insurance companies would give better rates to people without risk factors or to people who don't use much healthcare... until they find out they have a risk factor or until they actually need substantial healthcare.
So, when I develop a risk factor or need healthcare, then raise my rates.

Christ - it's not like this works like any other good or service. My utility bill changes based on the amount I use, and the price of energy. It's just a form of legalized gambling to pay for an overpriced piece of shit service that sucks when you actually have to use it.

patteeu
08-23-2007, 02:56 PM
I'm fat and out of shape but I don't ever go to the doctor so whatever. I get one prescription per year. I wish insurance premiums were lowered for individuals who rarely use it.

What is it they say about mutual funds? Past performance doesn't guarantee future results. What makes you think that you will rarely use healthcare in the future? The insurance company doesn't set their rates on the healthcare they think you used in the past, they set them based on the healthcare they think you will use in the future.

patteeu
08-23-2007, 02:57 PM
So, when I develop a risk factor or need healthcare, then raise my rates.

Christ - it's not like this works like any other good or service. My utility bill changes based on the amount I use, and the price of energy. It's just a form of legalized gambling to pay for an overpriced piece of shit service that sucks when you actually have to use it.

If we didn't use an insurance model but instead just paid for what we used, you'd be golden... for now.

Saulbadguy
08-23-2007, 03:01 PM
If we didn't use an insurance model but instead just paid for what we used, you'd be golden... for now.
Well, that is the other side of the coin - the cost of health care is way too high, so insurance companies have to have high rates.

BIG_DADDY
08-23-2007, 03:03 PM
I suspect it's pretty common for people to wish that insurance companies would give better rates to people without risk factors or to people who don't use much healthcare... until they find out they have a risk factor or until they actually need substantial healthcare.


Actually here in the next couple years I am going to switch to paying the first 10k ourself and just have coverage for life's major issues.

patteeu
08-23-2007, 03:05 PM
Actually here in the next couple years I am going to switch to paying the first 10k ourself and just have coverage for life's major issues.

I think that that model is about the best one I've heard. Pay for what you use for the normal day-to-day stuff with a socialized solution for the catastrophic issues that any of us could face. :thumb:

BIG_DADDY
08-23-2007, 03:12 PM
I think that that model is about the best one I've heard. Pay for what you use for the normal day-to-day stuff with a socialized solution for the catastrophic issues that any of us could face. :thumb:

The attention to detail and quality of service you get is WAY above what you would get with insurance as well. I love homeopathic stuff and get great results with it. I like doctors that try and cure things instead of treating symptoms. Try getting that with these friggen insurance companies.

gblowfish
08-23-2007, 03:35 PM
We're marching to a faster pace....
Lookout, here comes the maaaster race....


What about people who work for Budweiser, or Keebler, or McDonalds, or Frito-Lay? We should punish them for making the tools of plumpness!

Simplex3
08-23-2007, 09:31 PM
What is it they say about mutual funds? Past performance doesn't guarantee future results. What makes you think that you will rarely use healthcare in the future? The insurance company doesn't set their rates on the healthcare they think you used in the past, they set them based on the healthcare they think you will use in the future.
Bzzzzz. Wrong. They base it off of the amount similar groups of people with similar ages used. My health insurance (I buy my own) goes up every year by the maximum amount because the group I was lumped into happens to have a bunch of really, really sick muther-f**kers. The people that enrolled several months after me have seen a much smaller increase.

Simplex3
08-23-2007, 09:32 PM
Well, that is the other side of the coin - the cost of health care is way too high, so insurance companies have to have high rates.
Insurance companies pay below cost for many tests.

Simplex3
08-23-2007, 09:33 PM
Actually here in the next couple years I am going to switch to paying the first 10k ourself and just have coverage for life's major issues.
We skipped on the dental insurance and the dentist gives us a pretty sweet discount because he gets his money when we leave and he doesn't have to d**k with an insurance company.

Mr. Kotter
08-23-2007, 09:43 PM
A good approach, IMHO.

:clap:

patteeu
08-24-2007, 07:02 AM
Bzzzzz. Wrong. They base it off of the amount similar groups of people with similar ages used. My health insurance (I buy my own) goes up every year by the maximum amount because the group I was lumped into happens to have a bunch of really, really sick muther-f**kers. The people that enrolled several months after me have seen a much smaller increase.

I don't see why that makes what I said wrong. That's just one of the ways they try to figure out how much healthcare you're likely to use in the future.

Simplex3
08-24-2007, 07:22 AM
I don't see why that makes what I said wrong. That's just one of the ways they try to figure out how much healthcare you're likely to use in the future.
The point is that they aren't trying to figure out what YOU will use. They're trying to figure out what some nameless, faceless GROUP will use.

patteeu
08-24-2007, 08:04 AM
The point is that they aren't trying to figure out what YOU will use. They're trying to figure out what some nameless, faceless GROUP will use.

Well, yes, I agree that they work at the aggregate level. My point was that they look forward and project costs they don't look backward and price according to the group's history.

Simplex3
08-24-2007, 08:28 AM
Well, yes, I agree that they work at the aggregate level. My point was that they look forward and project costs they don't look backward and price according to the group's history.
Uhhh...

Where do you think they get the data to make that projection?

HonestChieffan
08-24-2007, 08:59 AM
why do well folks have to foot the bill for sick folks?

patteeu
08-24-2007, 09:52 AM
Uhhh...

Where do you think they get the data to make that projection?

As you admit, they are making a "projection". That's my point.

Look, I agree with what you are saying. My disagreement was with someone else and it was specifically with the idea that a person who has been a low user of healthcare can expect to pay low rates as if they will always be a low user of healthcare. It's your problem if you don't understand that you agree with me. :shrug:

patteeu
08-24-2007, 09:58 AM
why do well folks have to foot the bill for sick folks?

That's the whole idea behind insurance. My house has never burnt down, why should I help you pay for it when yours does. I've never destroyed anyone else's car by causing an accident, why should I have to help pay for it when you do. My bank has never failed so why should I have to help bail you out when yours does? Etc, etc, etc.

Besides, there's no law that you have to have health insurance. If you don't want to foot the bill for the sick folks, stop paying your premiums and your share of other folks' medical bills will be limited to that which is provided for by programs like medicaid. But don't complain about it when you get hit with catastrophic medical bills (which may even be the result of an auto accident caused by someone else or an act of God beyond your control) that exhaust your finances and you end up on medicaid yourself.

memyselfI
08-24-2007, 10:43 AM
I don't have a problem with this. If you are severely obese, if you are a heavy smoker or an alcoholic than your habits DO cause more health problems than if you were not these things...

accordingly, your premiums should be higher.