T Nation

Alabama Fat Fee

#1

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Insurance/InsureYourHealth/AlabamaHitsObeseWorkersWithFee.aspx

Not a bad idea. It beats having the healthy portion of the population paying extra for the increased health care costs of those who choose to be fat slobs.

#2

Excessive involvement from the government is never good in the end. This idea isn’t bad, but most people are going to endure and continue their self-destructive habits. This is another way of pulling more money from citizens that won’t necessarily go to health costs. It’s true; it’s not fair for the healthy populous to foot the bill of avoidable medical costs. It’s also not fair to dictate how people should live. Where do we find the median?

It’s typically in the market. Let the market decide how this should be handled. Insurance companies would much rather taker lower risks, than higher risks. And those at high risk will be treated as such. Though insurance is a ripoff unto itself and that’s another subject for another time…

#3
#4

[quote]FMLYHM wrote:
Excessive involvement from the government is never good in the end. This idea isn’t bad, but most people are going to endure and continue their self-destructive habits. This is another way of pulling more money from citizens that won’t necessarily go to health costs.

It’s true; it’s not fair for the healthy populous to foot the bill of avoidable medical costs. It’s also not fair to dictate how people should live. Where do we find the median?

It’s typically in the market. Let the market decide how this should be handled. Insurance companies would much rather taker lower risks, than higher risks. And those at high risk will be treated as such. Though insurance is a ripoff unto itself and that’s another subject for another time…[/quote]

I agree that it’s best to keep policies like this to a minimum. It’s going to cost extra until people fail and the revenue kicks in which seems counter-intuitive to me. The problem is it’s insurance rates we’re talking about and when they go up, EVERYBODY pays.

#5

It really is not “Big-Brotherish” like the one employee stated.

Obese and/or smoking Employees have shown to incur MUCH greater health care cost.

This is a tough one, especially for a State in the South.

Kudos to Alabama.

Mufasa

#6

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[/quote]

Thanks ProfX.

I guess I should have searched for “Alabama” first.

#7

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
It really is not “Big-Brotherish” like the one employee stated.

Obese and/or smoking Employees have shown to incur MUCH greater health care cost.

This is a tough one, especially for a State in the South.

Kudos to Alabama.

Mufasa[/quote]

I don’t feel like responding to this with the same info, so here:

BMI doesn’t just affect the obese people.

#8

Question:

Is Alabama (the “Government”) really telling people how to live?

It seems to me that they are not.

They are saying that if you smoke and/or are obese, you will have to pay more to defer some of the additional cost that the State incurs.

Mufasa

#9

I read what you wrote in the other post Professor X… I agree completely when they implement something like this, they typically go across the board and don’t exam individual cases.

The entire BMI subject is pretty much covered in the original post.

[quote]Kruiser wrote:
I agree that it’s best to keep policies like this to a minimum. It’s going to cost extra until people fail and the revenue kicks in which seems counter-intuitive to me. The problem is it’s insurance rates we’re talking about and when they go up, EVERYBODY pays.

[/quote]

There’s a fine line to be walked here. Lifters are prone to a number of injuries that can incur medical costs. Should we remove that activity from their life because of the possibility making everyone pay more? I know that’s a tough comparison to make because of the distinct differences between smoking and working out, but the idea is still the same.

The companies/government issuing the insurance should have the right to adjust their rates accordingly, but infringments on basic freedoms and right should not be the justification to penalizing their employees.

#10

It’s probably been argued already, but I would guess that the majority of those employees defined as obese are not individuals with greater-than-average lean body weights and low BF%.

Also, the article stated that a comprehensive exam is done, INCLUDING BP, cholesterol, overall physical, etc.

Mufasa

#11

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
It’s probably been argued already, but I would guess that the majority of those employees defined as obese are not individuals with greater-than-average lean body weights and low BF%.

Also, the article stated that a comprehensive exam is done, INCLUDING BP, cholesterol, overall physical, etc.

Mufasa[/quote]

I had an insurance company tell me flat out a year ago that my body weight alone (over the phone) would keep me from being covered.

I think this is something those of you who aren’t carrying that much muscle mass are unaware of.

#12

I agree, Prof.

Relying on some arbitrary number is NOT the way to do this.

I would think that Alabama will be continuously evaluating the policy.

Mufasa

#13

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
I agree, Prof.

Relying on some arbitrary number is NOT the way to do this.

I would think that Alabama will be continuously evaluating the policy.

Mufasa[/quote]

You would like to think so. Sadly, they’ll probably constantly “evaluate” insignificant aspects of it; like exactly how much a person should pay for each extra pound they weigh, rather than more important stuff, such as the fact they actually use BMI.

On a side note, I’m finally deemed “obese” according to BMI. Nice to know.

#14

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Mufasa wrote:
It’s probably been argued already, but I would guess that the majority of those employees defined as obese are not individuals with greater-than-average lean body weights and low BF%.

Also, the article stated that a comprehensive exam is done, INCLUDING BP, cholesterol, overall physical, etc.

Mufasa

I had an insurance company tell me flat out a year ago that my body weight alone (over the phone) would keep me from being covered.

I think this is something those of you who aren’t carrying that much muscle mass are unaware of.[/quote]

But the percentage of people who would be incorrectly classified by a standard set at a BMI of 35 is vanishingly small. I certainly do think the standard should allow someone to request a BF test though for the outliers. If it was lowered below 35 then this would start impacting more lean people rather rapidly.