This is just too much. Insurance rates based on life style.

King County Wa is going to start basing health insurance cost on the personal habits of the insured.

One more way to put a corporate hand in my pocket.

Why is my health any concern of Ron Sims? If I want to eat, drink and die from it, so what?

And why is that? So my weight problem can put money in their pocket?

Ah Ha!

Insurance rates are already based on lifestyle decisions. Smokers get charged more than non-smokers, folks who drive recklessly (get more tickets) get charged more than careful drivers, etc.

Not that I’m saying it’s necessarily a good thing, but this is merely the latest wrinkle in an existing practice.

Sounds like a good program to me.

Preach it! Furthermore, why stop there? Lets charge more for insurance for companies that make unhealthy products! Lets start weighing people and checking their health history and cholesterol as a condition for hiring them!

I will not be satisfied until corporations and government bureaucracies control every single aspect of a person’s life from cradle to grave! Nothing is too intrusive in our quest for higher profits.

Man, what a crazy age we live in–what’s next on this slippery slope? Are they gonna start charging people with lots of speeding tickets more for auto insurance?

This sounds like a perfectly reasonable policy for health INSURANCE.

And it’s one of the reasons why I think insurance is a bad thing to build an entire health care system on…

I get what you are saying, but in the end I think that it is all bullshit designed to excuse higher fees. I am sure that there is a casual causal link between people that speed and people that are in wrecks, but the truth is that 100% of people that have been in a wreck have been in a wreck but not 100% of the people that speed will be in wrecks.

If you want to be fair, why not start charging people more after their 2nd wreck, or have some reasonable threshold for medical claims that are lifestyle related after which premiums go up?

Binarydrone, you are pretty goofy. I mean this is not about corporate control. It is about health insurance. It makes sense that a cigarette smoking, alcoholic, who skydives while playing russian roulette should have to pay a higher premium than the person who chooses to participate in the healthy living program. Do you think it is unfair that people with multiple DUI’s have to pay higher insurance rates.

I do not like the idea of big corporations controling my life. I smoke and choose not to pay the rediculously high premiums so I do not carry health insurance. Instead I have a Health savings account. I pay into it what I would pay in premiums when I need a doctor I just pay cash.

Strangly, I completely agree with this part.

Yeah. I know. My comic book understanding of how insurance works is that the basic idea is that you broaden the risk. In other words, the company is counting on the fact that for every one insured person that likes to swill cheap whiskey while insulting pimps and smacking alligators in the face with his dick, there are hundreds of folks that live normal lives, therefore when they pay out for the fools they are still profitable.

I think that one of my main issues here is that on the one hand, for all practical purposes, the insurance industry has set things up (through lobbying and what not) so that it is almost impossible to function on a day to day basis without multiple types of insurance yet on the other they are trying to further limit the types of legal activities that the insured can do and still afford to be insured. To me it is just more examples of them having their cake and eating it too.

Better yet, why not use statistics, probability, and actual data to determine what makes someone more likely to have a car accident (or a heart attack) and then base your premiums on the amount you need to make a profit taking the risk that you’ll have to make a payout into account?

It’s not “bullshit:” It’s the way insurance works. Yes, it will lead to higher fees and more money for the insurance corporations, but health insurance corporations exist to earn money for their shareholders.

I don’t think the outrage should be over an insurance company trying to make money, I think it should be over using insurance companies as the financial basis of our health care system.

I totally agree that this is a terrible idea. As far as the Actuaries go, I haven’t really looked at them in detail and so I will reserve judgment. I will say, in general, that I would prefer to be charged for what I have actually done, rather than for something that is statistically possible for me to do. Kind of plays to my wide eyed sense of what is fair.

Health insurance shouldn’t be about spreading the risk of deliberate danger to those who avoid such danger. It should be about spreading the risk for random and unforeseen health problems. It should cover things that people have little to no control over, not dangers that they choose to impose upon themselves.

This sounds like an interesting idea, but can it cover a sudden very expensive thing, like cancer? A buddy of mine had a malignant tumor, and the total treatment cost over $400,000.

True, but they don’t take it on a case-by-case basis: “Well, we’ll only ping him after his accident.” Actuarial tables work on probability forecasts based on past evidence: they’ll look up the accident stats for male drivers under 25 who drink, smoke and own red '57 Chevy’s, and base your premiums accordingly - they can’t tell if you personally will have an accident, but they can make a pretty good guess at the odds of similar drivers wrapping themselves around a tree.

No but I have a supplemental major medical insurance plan. I think the deductable is something like $5,000.00, but the premiums are minimal. So basically anything under 5k I pay for.

And 100% of the people who have been burned alive by molten lava have been burned alive by molten lava, but not 100% of the people that have been burned alive by molten lava die. Some of them become Darth Vader.

I think I’ve proven my point.

No, “control” is when they force you to make a lifestyle change. This is merely mild coertion, of the “You can get better rates if you live healthier; it’s up to you” variety.

This is insurance; everything is bullshit designed to excuse higher fees. I’ve sat in on a few meetings where the (auto) insurance execs were trying to decide which excuse du jour to use to justify the latest fee hikes…

IMHO lots of folks look at insurance as some kind of lottery, hoping to win the big pot of money. To me that’s just stoo-ooo-oooo-ooo-pid! The way to win is to never have to make a claim!

As far as them basing their rates on your behavior, you are giving them some money and asking them to be willing to give you lots of money in return. Damn straight they’re gonna want to know what your up to, you’re asking for their money.

askeptic has the right idea. Give them as little money as possible, and get coverage only for the MAJOR stuff.

Indeed you have, Counsellor. Or should I call you Darth Lawyer? :wink:

To expand further, a qualified major medical plan is required in order to set up a health savings account. The money in the account usually accrues interest, is pre-tax dollars, rolls over year to year if not used, and is treated exactly like an IRA when you retire