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  1. #11
    Community Host wlillie's Avatar
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    It's still ironic that the Federal government is using a law that penalizes them for not having insurance and penalizes them for making a choice the Federal government doesn't like that is absolutely None of their Business all in the name of making healthcare affordable. I'm all for companies deciding on their own, but let them decide on their own about everything. You are right Melissa, I'm sure there is a program that will work for everyone. It still doesn't make the fact that it's wrong to allow one and not the other any more right.

  2. #12
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    Companies can decide on their own Lillie. Per the article it is only allowing them to charge higher. Does not mean that they will or if state law will prohibit it. (In Mass, it does not occur for example. We do not take risk factors like this into account)

  3. #13
    Community Host wlillie's Avatar
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    No, they are allowing companies to choose for smoker. But saying that they can't charge people for other risks factors like obesity is discrimination. They are discriminating against smokers and saying it's ok to be fat, we've got your back. If you are going to allow companies to charge for one risk factor, it's insane to pretend like it's not discrimination against them when other risk factors aren't included. Women of child bearing age would be more expensive than smokers, any fat person, and anyone with a pre-existing disease, but we don't allow them to charge more for that, so it's not OK to charge smokers more.

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    I never said that. I agree. I said that the gov't is not forcing the insurance companies to charge higher for smokers they are allowing them to do so. You said they are forcing people to buy insurance and then the govt is forcing the companies to allow for higher premiums and that it should be up to the companies what they charge. I just corrected it to say that they are allowed to make that decision.

  5. #15
    Online Community Director MissyJ's Avatar
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    I could be a supporter of those 'incentive' programs -- offering rewards/discounts for healthy behaviors (exercising, joining a smoking cessation program, etc.) vs. imposing penalties. These should *not* be restricted solely to those that cost a lot of money (such as requiring gym membership.) As pointed out within the article, many of those smokers/obese/etc. are among the poor that could ill-afford these extra costs.

    Two thoughts also came to mind:

    1)At what point would a former smoker no longer be penalized? Since the negative health impacts of smoking can show up long after quitting, would someone like Alissa have to pay more despite stopping many years back? (Example: A relative that stopped smoking more than40 + years ago today now battles emphysema and other lung problems that they link to his previous -- somewhat sporadic smoking that ended DECADES before.)

    2)Do you believe this threat will actually deter more people from seeking the healthcare they need? Now rather than going to the doctor for regular check-ups / preventative care, they may fear having their FAMILIES pay a penalty through far higher fees... or -- perhaps having that same fear drive them to lie to their physicians.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissyJ View Post
    I could be a supporter of those 'incentive' programs -- offering rewards/discounts for healthy behaviors (exercising, joining a smoking cessation program, etc.) vs. imposing penalties. These should *not* be restricted solely to those that cost a lot of money (such as requiring gym membership.) As pointed out within the article, many of those smokers/obese/etc. are among the poor that could ill-afford these extra costs.

    Two thoughts also came to mind:

    1)At what point would a former smoker no longer be penalized? Since the negative health impacts of smoking can show up long after quitting, would someone like Alissa have to pay more despite stopping many years back? (Example: A relative that stopped smoking more than40 + years ago today now battles emphysema and other lung problems that they link to his previous -- somewhat sporadic smoking that ended DECADES before.)

    2)Do you believe this threat will actually deter more people from seeking the healthcare they need? Now rather than going to the doctor for regular check-ups / preventative care, they may fear having their FAMILIES pay a penalty through far higher fees... or -- perhaps having that same fear drive them to lie to their physicians.
    '
    I don't know that a gym has to cost a lot of money, many are quite inexpensive, especially YMCA's. The problem with not tying it to some sort of gym is that it makes it awfully hard to police ~ even with my gym someone could technically *be* at the gym but go and sit in the cafe and eat or read a book....not workout. How would the insurance company have any way to verify if it was things like "took a walk today" or things like that if it was 100% self reported and tied to getting money back? I suppose you could tie it to measurable things like weight loss or something, but then you have to have employees out monitoring such things/more overhead for the insurance company.

    Anyway, don't cigarettes cost like $7 a pack these days? Most people who can afford to smoke COULD afford a gym, its just a matter of shifting priorities, of course.

    1. I would argue that only active smokers could be penalized. Like life insurance, I would think a simple blood test to test for tobacco would be sufficient. Former smoking would be like a pre existing condition, to me. People can't change that they used to smoke but had the good sense to quit, but they can change if they currently smoke and would like to quit.

    2. No, I don't
    Last edited by Potter75; 01-26-2013 at 03:33 PM. Reason: used to *smoke* not quit

  7. #17
    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    I really dont know how I feel about this one. If insurances are allowed to charge for smoking, they should be allowed to charge more for any lifestyle choice that makes a person in a higher risk category for disease. Obesity could be charged more. Gay males could be charged more (CDC numbers say gay males account for 61% of all new cases)

    On the other hand, insurances are businesses, they are in the business to make money. I see why they want to charge smokers more
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  8. #18
    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    I really dont know how I feel about this one. If insurances are allowed to charge for smoking, they should be allowed to charge more for any lifestyle choice that makes a person in a higher risk category for disease. Obesity could be charged more. Gay males could be charged more (CDC numbers say gay males account for 61% of all new cases of AIDS)

    On the other hand, insurances are businesses, they are in the business to make money. I see why they want to charge smokers more
    Last edited by mom3girls; 01-26-2013 at 08:19 PM. Reason: left out word
    Lisa
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom3girls View Post
    I really dont know how I feel about this one. If insurances are allowed to charge for smoking, they should be allowed to charge more for any lifestyle choice that makes a person in a higher risk category for disease. Obesity could be charged more. Gay males could be charged more (CDC numbers say gay males account for 61% of all new cases)

    On the other hand, insurances are businesses, they are in the business to make money. I see why they want to charge smokers more
    Gay males are 61% of new cases for what? Obesity?

    Melissa~ my company reimburses you for your membership but you have to remaina mbr for at least 4 mos in a cal. year and it's typically only 150.00 per membership not per person. Some businesses want to pay their employees more though. It's hardly an incentive to pay and just sit there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    I think that it too much. Healthcare should not cost anyone such a high portion of their income. Not making it so they have to chose between having health insurance and having food to eat or a place to live.
    But they would not be choosing between having health insurance and food or a place to live. People who smoke are choosing to smoke over food for themselves and their families. I don't know how much a pack or carton of cigarettes costs, but I imagine that it's not that cheap.

    All they have to do is stop smoking. I realize it's an addiction, but it's one that causes Medicaid/Medicare extraordinary amounts of money when people start creeping up in their lateish 40ies and beyond. Taxpayers are the ones footing their extra bills because of their nasty habit. People who smoke are getting food stamps whereas if they didn't smoke they could probably afford more food and be fine with less food stamps if any.

    It is a strange society we live in, one of such entitlement and expectations. We have a government that has been catering to people for so long and it's so expected by virtue of birth place.

    So to answer the debate question, I am not really for increased rates. I don't think that is going to work. I think people will lie. They'll do all sorts of creative things to make sure their clothes don't stink when they go to the dr. They'll lie on forms. How can it be proven?

    We get a discount on our insurance for not smoking, but no one ever made us try to prove it. I don't see how this is going new bright plan is going to work though.
    Last edited by myyams; 01-26-2013 at 08:15 PM.
    Aisha

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