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Monday, January 14, 2013

Keeping your premiums low since 1982

My health insurance requires members to have a biometric health screening each year in order to earn money for an HSA. I like the idea, but I wish they'd let me earn money off my premiums for being healthy.
Because I am SO healthy.
I mean it.
Here are my numbers:
Ht: 5'7"
Wt: 126
Waist cir: 26" (hips: don't ask)
BMI: 19.7
Blood pressure: 110/66
Total cholesterol: 198
LDL: 99
HDL: 83
Triglycerides: 47
Blood sugar (supposed to be fasting, but I had actually eaten since my appointment was at noon): 92

In other words...I am reducing costs like crazy for all the other members. So I want some money back.

After I was tested, I had to go online and enter the data plus answer a questionare about lifestyle. As I answered the questions, I could see my responses from last year: virtually identical! Maybe a weight change of a pound or two and slightly different blood sugar, but all the rest was the same. So I should also get a cookie for consistency.

But anyway, that is not the funny part of the story. The funny part is that I went to a clinic to get this done, and the nurse practitioner was out at lunch (despite my appointment, hem). He wandered back in about 10 minutes later wearing one of these:
This has to be the exact hat. How many companies make purple velvet floppy newsboy caps?
And a flamboyant multicolored coat. And a thick coating of marijuana smoke. Seriously, the man REEKED of weed. I was gasping for breath in the tiny office.
He briskly started the exam, apologizing for his "coffee break", and then proceeded to forget just about every other step required. I was dumbfounded, but I knew I had to get the bloodwork done, so I just kept helping and correcting him (at one point the BP cuff was on my right arm and the sphygmomanometer was on my left, I kid you not) and trying not to breath. Mr. Stoner managed not to kill me, finally figured out how to use a company voucher for payment, and I staggered out for some fresh air.
Some health care provider.

But on to more interesting stuff: What's your take on lowered premiums or discounts based on better health? A large area hospital offers both premium deductions for healthy cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure and gift cards if you document physical activity!
I'm for it. You?


  1. BCBS requries us to get blood work once a year as well but using the program to reduce premiums is not mandatory. Everyone who receives the highest marks on their health screening gets a nice new gym bag. I love mine! (except for the company logo)

  2. Oh, don't get me started on health insurance premiums AND deductibles! My husband is self employed, so lets just say, I'm surprised we have any limbs left, we pay so much in health costs. I question EVERYTHING because I basically pay out of pocket for everything. I am all for lower health insurance based on health. I spend a decent amount of money on things in my diet to make me healthy - therefore I am healthy, because I care about my health. Yet, I seem to be penalized (paying a buttload for premiums and high deductible before insurance even kicks in). UGH!!! I get frustrated about this system:) But, I need health insurance and my kids need it, so we have it. And now I get fired up so I will stop there - and say WOW - you are healthy!! It should be "rewarded":)

  3. Oh my heck, I agree 100%. And too funny - we have a screening every year too and the last two years the "tech" doing our screening was overweight and smelled terribly of cigarette smoke. Bleck. YES, I think people should be rewarded for improvements to their health, for good numbers, and for consistent good numbers.

  4. It's obvious that out of shape people voted for Obama Care...That said, I conur that premiums should be based on how healthy you are.

  5. I could not agree more!!!!! And it's only gonna get worse now that they have to provide insurance for all the undesireables. :( Guess who's gonna get stuck with THAT bill...

    That is a little unnerving about the stoner doc guy. I have nothing against marijuana at all, but there's a time and a place, and the middle of a workday ain't it.

  6. My company has claimed they'll be doing some health-incentives this year but haven't announced what yet. Some friends get $ towards gym memberships, which would be sweet!

  7. The fact that the NP was high (or stoned or something) is CRAZY! Can you report him to Minute Clinic or whatever place he works for? Usually I am not a whistle-blower, but I feel like it is a public safety risk.

    We, also, get major reductions for being healthy.... we save over $2000 a year! It is quite an incentive for us (although we were a fit family before the insurance changed).

  8. I am all for it! I am a member of Kaiser and I haven't heard anything about them doing it though!