Sunday, March 28, 2010

Should We Pay People To Adopt A Healthy Lifestyle?

That is what a New York Times article called Carrots, Sticks and Lower Premiums suggests. The article says:
"...the one thing that could really reform health care is you, collectively speaking: People living healthier lives."

"The statistical evidence has been clear for years, but it bears repeating. Studies show that 50 percent to 70 percent of the nation’s health care costs are preventable. Much of that expense goes to treat a few chronic conditions that are closely linked to behavior, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Bad genes and bad luck matter, of course. But behavior — exercise and choice of diet — matters most.

So why not pay people to live healthier lives? In fact, a fledgling “pay for prevention” industry is beginning to emerge, offering employers ways to reward workers with cash or reduced insurance premiums for exercising more and eating wisely."
So companies are paying their employees not to smoke or charging them less for health insurance if they are in good health.

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