“In June, Swiss insurance provider, CSS Insurance announced that it would launch a pilot program to monitor its customers’ digital pedometers,” Alexandra Ossola reports for Popular Science. “Now that project is nearly halfway completed, the company’s higher-ups report that the results have been overwhelmingly positive—so positive, in fact, that the provider may soon start charging higher premiums for those who don’t meet their daily step quota or choose not to participate in the program, according to the Swiss news organization, The Local.”
“The pilot program, called MyStep, is the first of its kind by any insurer in Europe. The company monitors the step count of 2,000 people using digital pedometers like Fitbits or Apple Watches,” Ossola reports. “That information is regularly synced with CSS’ online portal. This works for both the insurer and the customer, the company reasons: Customers can take more ownership over their health and push themselves to complete the recommended 10,000 steps per day… And the insurance company can charge more for those who don’t meet it. The pilot program is also intended to see how much information customers are willing to share with their insurance providers, The Local reports, and it looks like they’re willing to share a lot if it means lower premiums.”
Ossola reports, “It’s only a matter of time before similar programs make their way to the U.S.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Can’t happen soon enough. Those who want to sit around, munching chips, while encasing themselves in growing rolls of fat should pay more for the costs brought on by their heart attacks, gout, diabetes, strokes, asthma, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer treatments.
Next we need a way for Apple Watch to detect smokers and charge them more, too. People who make the effort to be healthy, regardless of whether they actually are lucky enough to be healthy or not*, should pay less for their health insurance as they tax the system far less than those who are sedentary, obese and/or smoke. Just as life insurance costs more for those who live unhealthy lifestyles, their health insurance should cost more, too. (Life insurers should utilize Apple Watches in much the same way.)
*If a person is obese for reasons beyond a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle, who is actively trying to be healthy as shown by their Apple Watch, but other conditions prevent fat loss (Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, hormonal imbalances, Syndrome X, medications, etc.) they should get a lower rate than those who are simply leading sedentary, unhealthy lifestyles. Most cases of obesity are due to sedentary lifestyles and consuming more calories than required, not medical conditions.
Furthermore, people should have every right to sit around eating chips and smoking until they drop dead (unfortunately, it’s rarely that clean; they often first tax the health system to a great degree by developing diabetes, cancers, banging off a couple of heart attacks, having a stroke here and there, etc. before they finally make their exit) and insurance companies should have every right to charge them more since, overall, they cost far more to take care of due to their poor choice(s) which raises costs for those who are trying to take care of themselves and therefore cost the system far less.
If you’re fat because you sit around too much and take in more calories than you can possible burn off by sitting on your ass all day, don’t be offended. Either keep on as you’re doing and pay more to cover your increased costs or put down the chips, stand up and get moving! (You can thank us later by continuing to visit during the 10-20 extra years you’ll get by following our latter advice.)
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David E.” for the heads up.]
HOW TO BE THIN
You claim to be a thin person in a fat person’s body, but sadly honey that’s not what “trans fat” means… Yes, your venti caramel macchiato counts. In coffee and men, stick to strong, black and bitter. Sugar is for people who only have to purchase one airline seat. — Milo Yiannopoulos
Will pro or amateur athletes get health insurance for free or at a very low premium?
Watch it because some athletes, active people right?, suffer heart attacks too.
Premium should not be based on whether you are active or lazy but on whether you are specifically prone to suffering/having health issues.
This is just a marketing gimmick similar to the non-smoker discount. The dirty little secret is the health care costs of a non-smoker over their lifetime is much higher than a smoker. The simple fact is that smokers pay all those premiums and in the end, drop dead rather quickly. If we could only encourage more people to smoke, the costs of healthcare would come down for all the rest of us who choose to live longer. If that sounds harsh, it is the stark reality. Choice has consequences. The same can likely be said for other bad healthcare practices. A person who lives into their late 90s due to good choices usually eats into the healthcare costs much higher. They live in nursing homes for many years racking up much higher costs for their arthritis, hip repairs, knee repairs, etc. which are costly but not lethal. Care for a smoke?
The author of the article mentioned that this is a pilot program. Health and wellness is more than a wrist bound device. I am sure that avoiding tobacco, using alcohol in moderation, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and having good genes are vastly more important. However, Apple fanboys will insist that because they should have a insurance discount simply because they own an AppleWatch. Morons.
Let me guess, this thread will be filled with praise over this.
Someone wants to track your personal data.. Say with currentc/mcx etc, apple pay does not, Apple fans cheer!
Company wants to track your personal data, and sell that data and then give you a discount… Apple fans cheer!
I don’t care what the reason is.. Selling your personal data to 3rd parties is selling your personal data to a 3rd party, regardless of reason.
I pay close to $2000 per month in the U.S. for a family of four. We all try to keep ourselves healthy. I would gladly allow my insurance company to access my Apple Watch step counts in return for rates that don’t impact my budget so enormously! I’d rather use that money for, oh, I don’t know, financing my children’s educations, buying a new car (helps the economy, etc). No, sorry, but I do not feel that I am getting $24,000 per year of value out of my family’s medical needs.
Oh, but haven’t you heard, Obama and the Democrat party “fixed” healthcare in the U.S., so why are you paying so much?
Sometimes I crack myself up!
Which isn’t saying much. Billary or the HillBillaries are an extremely poor choice & nauseating in it’s contemplation of 8 more years of Clinton nonsense for the nation. Frankly I think both anyone with a surname of Bush or Clinton be shown the door, with a steep cliff on the other side. Let’s move on from these loser political dynasty’s with a sense of entitlement and power all right?
And the left also has it’s equally laughable clown car chock full with maybe one exception (and it ain’t Hillary).
Well, you’re NOT terribly bright as you couldn’t have more completely missed my point.
An interesting point regarding the Swiss health insurance system. There is a set (by law) level of coverage that an insurance company must offer to any person at the same price, if they want to be able to sell insurance. The price is not regulated, but the insurer must offer the plan to all comers at the same price. On the face of it, this seems to be a scheme to circumvent that provision and skim off healthier customers and exclude the less fit.
National health schemes only work if everyone is in the pool. Once an insurance company figures out a way to cherry-pick the population the system becomes inoperable.
There is no ‘Democrat Party’ in the US. The Party is the Democratic and one in it is a Democrat, but since your HS Grad head of Party OxyContin Addict Rush Limbaugh says ‘Democrat Party’ you dutifully follow along.
The ACA is a mess, but the Republicans refused to help with the markup and have offered no real comprehensive proposal to replace it. The plan that they waved in a Joint Session of Congress was a cover sheet with blank papers inside.
As to the Apple Watch, I find since purchasing one a couple of weeks ago, it’s prompting works to keep you on your goals.
Might want to read some history, democrat has been used by democrats since the 1890’s….
Even used by them in campaigns into the 90’s, It was only recently they wanted to change…
The official name is The DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES- not the Democrat Party. In some other countries the usage is common.
This is more Bullshit from the right which is good with memes.Sell it somewhere else- like the Republic Party.
Of course go to the official website…. “Democrats”.org for clarification… Not “democratics”.org 😉
Not flying. Thanks for trying.
Are you being deliberately obtuse? Or don’t know grammar? Or both? You say you ARE a democrat, not a democratic. The party is named the democratic party, composed of democrats. Is that too hard for all you republics to understand?
Semantics. It’s just semantics.
The point is they will not be giving you a discount… They are selling that very data you provide them to another company.
It’s not about the cost of healthcare etc. just the fact that people want to praise apple for protecting their privacy, and then willingly allow someone else to sell the data they praised apple for NOT selling it..
That’s not what the article is talking about. Nothing is mentioned about sale of any data to any third party. Let us clarify here: a health insurance company is asking its customers to share their pedometer data with them. That health insurance is NOT selling any of that data to anyone else; it is collecting it in order to determine how much discount on premiums to offer to customers whose pedometer data exceeds their threshold.
In other words, this health insurer is NOT going to sell your pedometer data to someone else (say, an advertiser, who would then promote fitness, or health supplements, etc). And most importantly, you get to CHOOSE if you want to share your pedometer data with then (and in return, get a discount on your premium, assuming your numbers are good), or not (and pay nominal premium).
Your data IS sold…. Read the fine print. They can legally sell your data, you signed the contract with them to GET the coverage… Anything they add down the road is also allowed to be sold, pre existing contract.
Sharing data with a dr, that’s fine. An insurer is a 3rd party company that sells data. It may not have your name attached to it… But it’s perfectly legal for them to sell your “usage” stats to health companies and marketing companies.
Ever wonder how you get mail/email from other companies about your health insurance benefits etc?..
If you are a smoker, you tend to get ads about quitting smoking… And oh, it works with your providers coverage.. Hmm.
…and it’s all optional. You seem to somehow be trying to call Apple out here. Saying that Apple is normally against selling people’s data. This would only reflect badly on Apple of is wasn’t optional. If this insurance company could somehow access this data without your consent, there would be an issue here. People make agreements to on requirements with insurance companies all the time. For instance, taking a driving class might get you a discount on your car insurance. In this case you can get a discount if you share some of your fitness data. This fits really well into Apple’s position on this; people’s data should be theirs to do with as they wish.
Not calling out Apple.. just pointing out that the people praising this, are the very people praising Apple for NOT sharing their data.. but they are happy to have a 3rd party share/sell it.
a little inconsistency.
FROM THE ARTICLE:
“Now that project is nearly halfway completed, the company’s higher-ups report that the results have been overwhelmingly positive—so positive, in fact, that the provider may soon start charging higher premiums for those who don’t meet their daily step quota or choose not to participate in the program”
It’s not Opt in….. it’s punishment if you DO NOT.
And before anyone decides to call me lazy.. took this earlier today, how many of you can match this every week…
$2000 a month for insurance?
depending on your family situation , yes it’s very possible.
Those of us who did the math on the new “wonder care” knew it was coming. Doesn’t mean we could stop it.
One of the benefits or NON-benefits was the promise by Mr. Obama to the last congressmen/senators hold out. Some states were promised close to Free obama care for its states citizens in promise for a Yes vote on Obama Care.
If you only read your state’s or local city news at the time it was passed, you only got the news on the cost in your area or state.
Look it up. Obama care coverage and pricing is different in different states. Just because it is not $2000 in your state for a family of 4 – that makes a certain level of income -doesn’t mean that other states get the same rate. Obama care is not equal.
Thank doG, I live in California and not one of those backwards states.
Indeed, I say the insurance companies should charge the active people LESS $$!!!
Thinner, more active people have been subsidizing the non-active, non-thin people.
Yes, it’s amazing how quickly someone one the Right or Left embraces tyranny.
How about this, MDN, start an insurance company and gobble up all the rest and do things like YOU believe they should be done, ‘mkay?
Insurance should compete on whatever level they want, by the rules they want. As it is, the various corporations are making ungodly profits on the ACA’s mandated policies while all people pay even more.
Same with drug corps.
Insurance is a numbers game which is why Obama and even the Right have done their best to turn it into a collective government operation. If EVERY SINGLE PERSON paid just three percent of their income towards a policy that paid for all treatment and medications, there would be no one without care in this country – because the odds and numbers of needing to spend all that cash favors the provider. The cash could also be used to pay for doctors’ education (which would be necessary to meet the terms of such a policy) and the provider could also afford to pay doctors what it’s worth to work in such a field.
That is way you have insurance corps to begin with – they understand those odds and are protected from competition from each other by politicians from both aisles.
The ACA is an abject failure, costing people more for care, more for policies with less benefits, and control over who you receive care from by underpaying doctors.
So MDN, put down the steroids, it’s making you a little bit peevish…and Obama-like!
Excellent point; however, users should be free to sell or give away their personal data if they want to. Still, it makes me laugh how Apple fanboys proclaim Apple is most protective of their privacy, but are quite willing to divulge their personal data with AppleWatch.
The summary states that policy will be MORE for those that don’t comply. Didn’t say polices would be less for those that do.
The widespread practice of monitoring people’s activity would, in theory, tend to lower healthcare costs overall as more people got healthy, fewer were obese, etc.
Allowing insurance companies to actually compete against each other nationwide, under uniform rules, would be the thing that would really lower costs. A bunch of truly national health insurance companies are a major component of what’s needed to spur competition for customers, driving down the prices for everyone.
Great idea. Seems like it’d be pretty easy to fake, though.
Maybe, if you could strap your Apple Watch to your dog’s neck.
Lol here kiddo you need to wear this for daddy (slaps fitbit on his 7 year olds wrist)
Especially if there’s a penalty to wearing a smart watch.
Set your Watch Workout app to “Other”, set it to 10 minutes and watch TV for a while. See how well you do. (Discovered by accident, don’t regularly use this “feature”)
When the scumbag stealing insurance companies that “we all work for” pay for the watch they “MAY” have a rcontractual right to use the collected data, but NOT to discriminate.
Much as MDN or anyone else dislikes fat ass pigs that take up two seats, portions, or more space than they should.
Well, this particular health insurance company isn’t forcing anyone to share data. It is entirely up to their customers whether they want to participate in the programme or not.
This is much like those store credit cards. You don’t have to get one; if you don’t want ANY data about your purchase history collected by the store, pay with cash. If you’d like 5% discount on every purchase, plus targeted discounts, get their card (and let the store keep track of what you buy there).
For the store (and even more so for the health insurer), this is simply good business. The insurance company attracts customers that cost them far less, so they can afford to offer them discounts. Customers are happy not having to subsidise health premiums for those whose lifestyle choices make them a significantly heavier burden on the insurer.
If only cable industry were like this… I hate having to pay $100 for a cable channel line up full of sports channels, none of which I watch, but cost of which is 80% of my cable bill, so that someone who likes sports wouldn’t have to shell out $300 for the 50 sports channels in the lineup.
Companies want to track everything.
You shouldn’t be forced to pay a premium just because you don’t want a data logger on your wrist.
What a bunch of BS.
It might sit better with privacy folks if they had a standard premium, and then, for those who elected to participate, a discounted premium based upon your daily step count.
But that is EXACTLY what they are doing. They are charging their full (standard) premium to those who opt out of the programme, as well as to those in the programme who don’t meet the numbers. Discount is then offered to those with good numbers.
Should NOT have to “opt out”
Should be “opt IN”
I think that is exactly what they are doing. People who choose do to this can get a discount. After all, not everyone has an Apple Watch.
You do realize the nature of the Apple Watch would make this opt in right? No one can get data off your Apple Watch unless you opt in. A customer would need to download this company’s app and give them permission to see some of their workout data. By its very nature this is opt in.
Read my post above, the article flat out states it’s using FitBit and Apple Watch right now, and will be PUNISHING those that do NOT participate.
It’s opt in, only so they will not be punished… which doesn’t exactly sound very “opt in”
Sounds like a good reason not to buy the AppleWatch. Who wants some creepy big brother equipment spying on your every move to report back to criminal insurance companies that care more about their fat paychecks than actual people.
Jack (MDN) –
You’re not really an idiot, so quit trying to be one.
My asthma (as with most of us) is largely allergy induced, and started when I weighed about 60 pounds. I’ve never even heard of it being related to obesity/lack of exercise, though I can see where that could relate for some.
My wife is on the large side, but as a result of taking insulin for her diabetes, not the other way around. She was a trim hottie when diagnosed in her early 20s. This is also fairly common, though at least in this case the way you present it is also a common problem.
And we’re not the exceptions. We are very much the rule. Yes, diabetes as a result of obesity is becoming a real problem, but only “recently” (my asthma and her diabetes are multiple decades old now), and I firmly believe it has more to do with the garbage going into the prepared foods most of us eat than with how much of it we eat and our activity levels. (Me having a cat in the house is a different matter entirely – but that isn’t my choice. Don’t get me started on that one!)
Which parts of the following portions of MDN’s Take didn’t you understand?
People who make the effort to be healthy, regardless of whether they actually are lucky enough to be healthy or not*, should pay less for their health insurance as they tax the system far less than those who are sedentary, obese and/or smoke.
*If a person is obese for reasons beyond a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle, who is actively trying to be healthy as shown by their Apple Watch, but other conditions prevent fat loss (Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, hormonal imbalances, Syndrome X, medications, etc.) they should get a lower rate than those who are simply leading sedentary, unhealthy lifestyles.
“Can’t happen soon enough. Those who want to sit around, munching chips, while encasing themselves in growing rolls of fat should pay more for the costs brought on by their heart attacks, gout, diabetes, strokes, asthma, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer treatments.”
Not even very accurate info there. The pushing of those stereotypes under the lead of “Can’t happen soon enough” is appalling. Glad you’re one of the lucky ones, but for those of who aren’t… And see my reply to Sparkles, below, about my dad. He had Cushing’s. And nobody knew for ages. But until that was determined, you would have him paying more for his insurance, just because you didn’t know? Totally ridiculous. No watch is ever going to report that.
Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate the principal. But implementation for even the best ideas often leaves a lot to be desired.
Some people want to ignore stuff like that.. Cause… Apple!
Consistency is key, not just when it benefits your cause/beliefs.
(Agreeing with you on mdn’s take)
I completely understand your reaction, but I’m not sure Steve Jack is saying anything that would imply treating you or your wife as a second-class citizen (speaking of health insurance premiums here).
What he said was that if you lead a lifestyle that is reasonably active (making a certain number of steps per day), in other words, if you are consciously making effort to stay reasonably fit (and, presumably, eat reasonably well), you will receive a discount, regardless of your current health condition (i.e. asthma, obesity, diabetes, etc).
In America, obesity has apparently become prevalent, and some groups (lower income, some minorities) are experiencing a serious obesity epidemic. Most of the causes are the excessive amounts of sugar in all foods (not just sweets and drinks), as well as trans-fats. But a significant and growing part of the reason for it is lack of physical activity. Perhaps financial incentives, such as health premium discounts for physically active, might motivate people to make additional effort.
Thanks for your understanding. And I likely have overreacted. My apologies to all. But I hope others see the validity of the point (and in other replies here) that your watch (and your eyes) can’t give you the full picture. As screwed up as our health care system is, I shudder at the thought of any part of it being left in the hands of a watch.
You’re very observant, and correct, that it is a bigger problem in America than most of the rest of the world. We have a family from Thailand living here, and they have struggled mightily already to remain “fit”. It isn’t because of their activity levels, which remains quite high. It isn’t because they eat “junk” food. It is because even our “healthy” food options have become junk in this country!
You raise some interesting points. Walking 10,000 steps a day will burn off a few extra calories, how much depends upon how acting you would be anyway. One estimate (http://www.livestrong.com/article/294824-how-many-calories-does-10-000-steps-burn) is that you could burn off an extra 3,500 calories per week, which would work out to 52 pounds per year, a pretty significant amount.
If you’re concerned with the “garbage” going into prepared foods, why don’t you stop eating them? You can follow the nutritional recommendations in this link for $4 a day per person, or less. http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/Articles/Entries/2012/5/20_A_Common_Sense_Approach_To_Sound_Nutrition.html
To my way of thinking, any program which provides useful information about how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and encourages people to take responsibility for doing so it a positive development.
I agree that this is a positive development. I believe that knowledge is power, and this is no different. I don’t agree that calling all asthmatics and diabetics lazy and the disease a result of the lifestyle is appropriate. (No, you and Jack didn’t take it that far, but he certainly pushed the stereotypes too far for my liking.)
The garbage isn’t just in prepared foods. Virtually all of the fresh veggies and meat in your local grocery store are also full of hormones and other nasty stuff that makes even the healthiest diet much more problematic today than it was in years past. And unfortunately, this is a fairly unique problem to the USA. Straying a bit off topic on this point, especially now, but it goes to being a factor for us that has nothing to do with our laziness.
(With that all said, I don’t hit 10k steps often – I’m very sedentary with a desk job and pretty lazy when I get home. But my asthma isn’t a result of that, and neither is my wife’s diabetes a result of her inactivity. And my “health” looks better than my wife’s, who is a very active 3rd grade teacher and probably hits well over 10k steps a day without thinking about it.)
The point is that you can’t judge a person’s lifestyle by their body shape. My dad was very active and extremely healthy for a man weighing as much as he did. He had virtually no health problems related to his weight, and you don’t see many people over 300 pounds make it over 60 years, but he did. He had his stomach stapled, and it helped very little for only a very short time. Once we all learned that he had a pituitary tumor, it all made sense. I virtually never knew my dad under 350 – he generally averaged about 380, and shooting up and down between 350 and 420 was common. Under this plan, “you” would call him lazy and obese and charge him more, when in fact he had a major underlying condition that was likely 100% of the real problem. (If you’re wondering about me talking about him in past tense while saying that he was so healthy – he blacked out driving himself to his second radiation treatment for the tumor, and the injuries from the car wreck killed him about 18 hours later.)
I don’t think that “idiot” applies here. The post was clearly reasoned, as were the intentions. “Fascist” is more fitting here.
Sorry MDN, your take seems a bit knee-jerk to me.
For one, is it really that easy to place the blame entirely at the obese human? It’s very well known that the big food corps put additives in their fast-food / snack junk to interfere with the body. Like artficially shutting off the signal that the stomach is full (so the human keeps eating), or boosting the hunger feeling.
It seems to me that a better way to pay for the huge increases in diabetes related cost for example, would be to tax the junk food big corps for that. That way those who profit from putting stuff out in the market that is clearly fooled with, also get to pay for the incurred costs on society, instead of shuffing those off onto the populace.
It’s also a matter of a societies culture i think. As a non-American, i am truly amazed at the level of obesity when I see American programs. I’ve read you’re the only 1st world country where life expectancy is going down. Don’t you think there needs much to be done than solely ‘punishing’ those that end up being obese?
Lastly, if you go the route of ” all is personal responsibilty and should be accountable “, then be careful what you ask for. Thus, a question for you MDN: as “healthy living” people consume far more years in pension than those deemed living very unhealthy (who often even wont reach pension), should they then pay higher pension rested too? Should the 10k daily step mark that leads to lower insurance rates also lead to higher pension rates? Wouldn’t that be fair too?
MDN’s take doesn’t blame obese humans. It obliquely blames irresponsible ones; those who choose a lifestyle that leads to obesity, stroke, heart attack and diabetes. It blames those who make conscious poor choices. If you walk 10,000 steps every day, and yet are still obese (or have diabetes, or heart condition), you have every right to have your premium lowered. Your lifestyle is active and you are doing everything you can to avoid becoming a burden on the health care system. Your health condition is clearly not caused by your own doing, so it would be unfair to ask you to pay more.
My example is rather pertinent. I live a very sedentary lifestyle. According to my iPhone, my daily average is 6,600 steps, well below the 10,000 threshold. However, I am physically fit (178 cm, 64kg, which is around 5’10”, 142lbs). I can climb 20 flights of stairs without stopping, and swim four lengths of an olympic-size pool without much effort.
Yet, under the terms described in the article, I would (rightfully) be one of those paying full, non-discounted premium, because of my sedentary lifestyle.
and finally, if my health insurance company (Empire Blue Cross, in NY) decided to offer this kind of option (discount in every month I exceed 10,000 steps), I have no doubt that I would be sufficiently motivated to adjust my daily routine in order to make those steps and get that discount.
I can see your point and don’t disagree with it as such, but my point was that if an obese persons choices lead to extra costs on the health care system, they also lead to lower costs on the pension system. I just dont see why the one should be made accountable and the other not.
The two are separate issues, although they may seem connected.
There are two general types of pension plans: defined contribution, and defined benefit. Defined contribution is simpler; your pension will be directly proportional to the total amount of money you contributed into the plan. The more you save, the higher the pension. The formula for calculating that pension will be modified, usually every 2-3 years, based on the periodic actuarial evaluation, where expert actuaries will review the financial health of the pension fund (number of participants, vs. number of beneficiaries, growth trends for the two numbers), as well as changes in life expectancy at retirement. Based on these evaluations, they will make recommendations regarding the changes in the formula, so if the average life expectancy has significantly changed to the point that the fund will be unable to meet its obligations in the future, the formula will be adjusted, resulting most likely in a lowered monthly pension, or delayed mandatory retirement age.
Since the 50s, when demographic data collection has been made more detailed and consistent, life expectancy has been raising in every country of the world. Pension Fund systems around the globe have consequently been adjusting their pension plans in order to be able to meet their obligations.
Your point may be somewhat valid in that no one pension plan has variable pension formulas for participants dependent on their lifestyle. In other words, healthy and active people aren’t asked to contribute more to their pension plan (nor is their prospective monthly pension lower as a consequence of their own longer life expectancy). The numbers are always averaged out, and someone gets more out of it (if they live longer), while others get less.
It would be quite awkward to see pension funds offering discounted pension contribution premiums to people leading sedentary and unhealthy lifestyles. I can’t think of any one corporation having the sane mindset to motivate people to eat junk and sit all day… or to financially penalize those who are making an effort to live a healthy, active lifestyle.
Well, again I largely agree with the point you make. Pension systems behave like you describe – I should note I’m accustomed to European style systems (I’m Dutch myself) – and that means indeed that lifestyle choices are not part of the equation. But that implies for me that, in this debate, we should be cautiouus with introducing lifestychoice considerations (in sofar they are t the manipulations to food by the big corps) in other segments of society, such as healthcare, if the overall result would be quite unfair to some people. Thats where these are connected for me.
My deeper worry – which I realise goes well beyond the MDN take – is that I’m quite concerned when governments and big corps go moving in on personal lifestyles. Many times gave we seen oppressive regimes use the health bandwagon as an easy and willing carrier for getting people into conformisme, and worse to follow. The church of health can easily lead to oppressive behaviors. Here lies my true concern. 😊
I deeply believe that in open and free societies there should be no such thing as a prefered, mandated lifestyle, and be aware that accountability and other nice sounding terms can also easily lead to paths
Apologies for my not very fluid sounding texts, i type all on my iPhone while on holiday, with the dutch autocorrect in a very sabotaging role. And no, i dont have fat fingers…)))
Autocorrect -> sabotaging
Predrag, this supports the case I made previously, q.v.
Paranoia? I wonder…
Oh Lord save us from all these idiots who think they know the answers and think they can save us from everything.
Whether government or company, they are just bureaucrats who cannot possibly be wired into more than about 20% of reality at most. Yet they claim to know better about everything.
I am a 4th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do with 20 years of training, usually 180 days per year. The Health deal on the surface seems to make sense, but of course it doesn’t when faced with reality.
One knot head “adviser” told me to keep my iPhone with me when we work out! BEYOND STUPID! That would be dangerous to me and others. We take impacts on the body, that is part of the training, and if someone kicks or hand strikes my iPhone, somebody gets hurt.
Is this an odd example? Yes, of course, BUT we are individuals even though our loving government and their business partners are incapable and also desirous of seeing us as identical drones that they can manipulate.
The 20% opacity filter through which they see the world guarantees the failure of whatever they do in this area, although they WILL score it and label it as a complete success. They are literally incapable of seeing it any other way.
So, is someone comes up with some regulation requiring me to wear a sensor, the obvious answer by any normal human being is NO!
(I realize there are millions of abnormal people out there who will have no problem with it, too bad for them)
I’m sure there will eventually be some countries where the ‘benevolent’ governments will put such impositions on their population, “for everyone’s benefit”. I can’t see America ever getting there. It is one thing to require every adult to purchase health insurance (same as requiring to pay taxes), but it is entirely another to force someone to wear device that records fairly personal data, and allow collection of such data.
We can discuss that once it becomes an issue; for now, I have no doubt that if a private company decides to offer its customers a discount in exchange for sharing some personal data, it won’t be any different than what hundreds of millions of Android users are already doing (or people with store credit cards, discount cards, etc).
I can easily see it happening here. I don’t think its right to force anyone to buy anything, but its been forced upon us. Doesn’t make it right. For a LOT less money, we could just pay the medical bills of the indigent and for pre-existing conditions directly, but that would not have created millions of jobs in the bureaucracies, both political and corporate at the expense of those who are healthy and don’t even use medical insurance even at this point. And I think the real point was to create these bureaucratic positions as a reward for votes. I have insurance but its no longer useable because of copays and deductibles. I will only use it for life- threatening situations. That was not true before. My premiums go to pay for drug users in the hood, etc, who made their choice of lifestyle, their families should pay for it.
I’m not sure where ‘here’ is; I assume somewhere in America.
I’m not sure what you mean when you say: “…we could just pay the medical bills of the indigent and for pre-existing conditions directly…”. It implies that you (a healthy person) would go and pay the medical bill of someone else, a specific sick (or indigent) person). How would you decide whose bill to pay? How would you know how much of it to pay? There would have to be some entity that would have some information of healthy people with means to pay, and sick people with needs of service, and coordinate these. If that is the case, you have just described a health insurance system, where everyone contributes based on their ability, and services are used when they are needed.The earlier everyone starts paying into this health insurance system, the cheaper the monthly premiums are for everyone.
Countries that have national health systems statistically offer much more health benefits per dollar spent than those where private insurers provide individual or group coverage. Reasons are rather obvious; every private insurer must have complete administrative infrastructure in place to define and process all the premiums and benefits. Also, as private insurers are businesses, they are by necessity serving their share holders, rather than customers, so their goal is NOT most effective health service, but highest profits.
It all sounds good if you believe that bureaucracies can make better choices than me negotiating my own deal.
Do please tell us all about that fantastic deal that you negotiated with your health insurer. I’ll bet you really leveraged your position of power very effectively.
I didn’t get a fantastic deal, that is the point. I got the deal I got because and Obomacare approved deal is all you can get.
That’s why its “mandatory”
Your right. Some auto insurance companies offer you a discount if you let them put a computer in your car which monitors your driving. This is really no different.
If you don’t like it, buy your auto and health insurance from someone else.
The article states that the company will charge people more if they refuse to participate or if they don’t do what the company demands. There are many people who can’t walk or run 5 miles a day and it has nothing to do with weight. That standard is ABSURD!!!!!
This “idea” is intrusive and I doubt that it will fly here in the US.
Number of steps isn’t necessarily the best metric to use to keep track of one’s effort at exercising. For example, I’m extremely active – I practice martial arts 3-4 days a week, run 2 to 4 miles a few times per week, a couple hours on the rowing machine each week, heavy bag, etc. With the exception of running, none of these activities translate to a great deal of steps. I use both a FitBit and an Apple Watch, and looking back through my history, I don’t hit 10,000 steps on most days, but I usually burn between 600 – 1,400 active calories (calories burned at cardio HR or above) per day. On the contrary, I know people who admittedly get over 10,000 steps per day “walking around the office with a donut in hand”. High step counts don’t directly translate to good health. If an insurance company wanted to do something like this accurately (and I’m not sure it’s a good idea) it would need to take several data points into consideration as opposed to just step count.
Terrible take MDN. Every time I’ve injured myself (causing a health insurance payout) it was while exercising. What about those with arthritis or ankle injuries who can’t walk 10,000 steps? They have to beg for a waiver? The idea of employer-based insurance is that everyone pays the same. One day you too will be older and maybe not as spry in your steps.
If this came to the U.S. it would likely violate the ADA. But some employers are already pushing the boundaries by requiring participation in wellness programs.
I love to be fit, but that’s my choice not my employer’s.
Agree. A lot of medical expenses are involved with activities while a lot are involved with a sedentary lifestyle. A vast portion is consumed by cancer, an equal opportunity issue.
This is much like cigarette smokers. They pollute the air and it isn’t healthy. As such, the health police already make them pay more for breathing, normally charged as extra taxes on cigarettes.
Any given group makes a good scapegoat to burden with the greatest expense; that is as long as it is a group to which we don’t belong. Insurance companies are using the same strategies as the politicians: cause people to turn on each other and they can be easily controlled.
13.8 steps every minute of the day based on 12 hrs.= 10,000 steps
So they’re willing to give discounts for poor quality, non-verifiable data?
I live in a tri-level house, with two half-flights of stairs. Even though I go up and down those stairs 30-40 times a day my iPhone consistently reports 0-1 flights of stairs daily. The data quality is laughable.