My employer recently informed us that our health insurance premiums are going up next year. We can offset much of the increase if we have a health screening, which includes testing cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, waist circumference and blood pressure. The tests are FREE – my second favorite “F” word. I jumped on that opportunity.

Let me start by saying I have very strong feelings about health insurance and personal responsibility. My opinion is very controversial but I’m sticking to it: Health insurance should be risk-based.dual-head-stethoscope-78888-163895 Meaning I should not have to pay as much for my insurance as someone who smokes, is obese, does not exercise and it essentially a train-wreck of expensive health problems waiting to happen.

I understand that some medical conditions are genetic. I know a gifted 20-year-old athlete who works her tail off, eats well and has high-cholesterol. It runs in her family. I also know people who eat horribly, don’t exercise, smoke, drink too much and consider golf a form of exercise.

Car insurance is risk-based. You get a DUI and your insurance premium goes up. You are a risk – not to mention stupid. Life insurance is risk-based. Hurricane and flood insurance are risk based. So why isn’t health-insurance?

Losing weight so you can wear a bathing suit without shame is one thing. Losing weight to save money is another. Give people a significant financial incentive to lose weight, quit smoking and stop eating Cinnabons and they will. Let’s face it, we are more motivated by money than feeling and looking good.

This argument pisses people off. I’ve noticed that most of those who don’t like the idea are overweight, smoke, drink too much and don’t exercise. Sure, dispensations should be given for genetic, hereditary medical conditions. But overall, most Americans can and should improve their health. It is their responsibility.

I’m not saying everyone should workout like we do. Crossfit is a little extreme. Actually, it’s a lot extreme and a person can be very, very fit doing other types of exercise. The most important thing is that exercise is fun and that a person understand that there will be times when exercise will make you uncomfortable.

Which is why i am always dissing golf. The only one getting any exercise on a golf course is the caddy. Most golfers don’t use a caddy. They drive a cart. If you golfers want to to argue that golf is exercise, get a heart rate monitor and let’s see what your maximum heart rate is during a round.

My company is not endorsing risk-based insurance. Everyone gets the discount for taking the health screening. Still it’s a start. Hopefully, seeing the numbers will be enough for some people to take action on their health.

At age 54, I can say that I am in the best shape of my life. Of course I could run, ski, play tennis and swim faster when I was younger, but because I only focused on one exercise in those days, I did not exercise every muscle in my body the way I do now. Also, when I was in my 20s and 30s weight lifting was not popular for women and there certainly weren’t gyms on every corner.

So, here are my numbers. Thank you Crossfit.

Cholesterol

HDL 94

LDL 65

Blood pressure

113/58

Resting heart rate

57

Triglycerides

51

Glucose

84

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Comments
  1. skyrunner259 says:

    Completely agree about it being risk based. I think I could see an issue about discrimination though…. There would e providers which refuse to insure certain patients. And health insurance should be accessible to everyone. Also you get into the possibility of being discriminated against for family disease history. I have to pay extra because my mom had breast cancer and I’m at a higher risk for it?
    My work incentivizes us with extra $ for healthy activities. $400 for getting our health numbers. $150 for being tobacco-free. $50 for completing a 6 week health challenge where you have to walk 10,000 steps per day. And they also offer reduced gym memberships. I think that’s the way to do it. It certainly motivates me to be conscious about my health

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