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Should Employees Pay More if They’re Unhealthy?

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Dr. Mache Seibel

Women's health expert and guest speaker Dr. Mache Seibel addresses consumers' critical needs from weight control to HRTmenopause and beyond. He served on the Harvard Medical School faculty for 19 years and is founder of My Menopause Magazine on the Apple Newsstand ( Download the Free App and first Free issue. He works with companies and organizations to bring exciting educational content to consumers. Visit his award-winning website to sign up for his free monthly newsletter.


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2:55PM PDT on Apr 22, 2014

Yes. as a person with a chronic illness you would think I would answer NO. But if a person uses more resources they should pay more. I go to the store and when I buy more I pay more. Why should it be different for health care?
A person should pay for what they use.

5:09AM PDT on May 12, 2013

I think this is an excellent idea - the government has tried numerous methods of making people achieve better health, but unfortunately you always have to hit the public where it hurts for them to pay attention to ANY major issue - in the wallet! So if this is what it needs to come to, then so be it. I'm guessing that any genetic issues will be taken into consideration?

6:49PM PDT on May 9, 2013

Wow, it is this kind of thing that makes me very relieved that I don't live in America.

Because I don't live there my opinion isn't really important in this matter I guess, because there would be nothing I could do about this, but personally I see this as discrimination, & as Stephanie R. pointed out: "Discrimination is illegal and should remain that way!"
I completely agree.

9:58PM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

hmm not all people can help that they are fat, so it is unfair

5:45AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Thank you Dr. Mache Seibel, for Sharing this!

11:13AM PDT on Apr 19, 2013


3:24PM PDT on Apr 18, 2013

To the last comment, you wouldn't pay more. In fact, you would likely pay less than your peers. The way these programs normally work is that they typically look at the following measurements:
Does the person smoke?
Does the person's total cholesterol fall in a health range (less than 200 for example)
Does the person's blood pressure fall in a healthy range (120/80 or less for example)
Does the person have a healthy body composition or BMI (such as body fat of less than 18% for men and 28% for women)?

You would get a point for each goal that you meet. The more points you get, the less you pay. Again, keep in mind that if you cannot meet a goal for a medical reason, you would be given an alternative. This type of program is good for all parties involved.

2:55PM PDT on Apr 18, 2013

Who will cast the first stone? I am 57 years old, 5'7 in, after 5 children 116 lbs. I exercise, my total cholesterol is 160, BP is 110 / 70. Don't drink, but i smoke. Haven't had a cold in over 25 years and only go to the doctor for my yearly check-up. So I am a drain on our healthcare? Charge me more? Prove I am sickly!

12:59PM PDT on Apr 18, 2013

Absolutely agree with the last comment. These programs are specifically designed to incentivize behavior change in making better health choices, which affect controllable illness. The government does not allow employers to do this in a way that discriminates on uncontrollable health problems. Again, if you cannot help it, you simply get a note from your doctor and you will not be penalized. I hear people voice concern on this all the time, but the fact of the matter is that when we look at chronic health conditions overall, more than 65% are caused by controllable lifestyle choices. Further, if we look at specific diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, PVD, diabetes and even some cancers, the percent caused by controllable lifestyle choices is MUCH higher. Did you know that in this country, more than 60% of people are overweight? The research is in, and the bottom line is that the vast majority of these overweight people CAN help it. They may not want to and it may not be easy, but they can. If they really can't, then no problem, just get a note from your doctor stating so.

12:51PM PDT on Apr 18, 2013

I think in the case of preventable illnesses, absolutely yes! However, if the illness the person has cannot be rectified by lifestyle changes, I do not think it is fair at all.

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