View Poll Results: Should medically judged fat people pay higher medical costs?

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  • Yes

    48 52.75%
  • No

    43 47.25%
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Thread: Should medically judged fat people pay higher medical costs? [W:87]

  1. #361
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    Re: Should medically judged fat people pay higher medical costs? [W:87]

    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    My company charges smokers an extra $100/month for health insurance. They don't charge obese people anything extra, and there are a whole lot more obese people at my work than there are smokers, and they cost more to the health system than smokers do. To charge smokers more, but not obese people, is illogical.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone should be charged more, but if they are going to, it makes no sense at all to single out smokers.
    Really? Hmmmm. Interesting. Maybe with Obamacare, which allows for increase premiums for smokers (one of the few ways for ins. cos. to use patient history as a basis for premiums; the other way is age), it affects group policies, too. I'm not that familiar with how Obamacare affects group policies, since I'm in the individual policy market.

    No, it doesn't make sense to me,either, to charge more for smokers and not for obesity. But maybe that's because the ins. cos. aren't allowed to, by law.

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    Re: Should medically judged fat people pay higher medical costs? [W:87]

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    If you read the link, you would see that just one of the reasons African Americans are at higher risk for heart disease is because they tend to be "overweight." So a simple yes or no. Do you think African Americans should have to pay higher premiums? Also, the poor are considered higher risk for poor health. Should they pay higher premiums?

    The whole POINT of the health insurance overhaul was so that EVERYONE can afford to be insured.
    No! If your reasoning if that a certain race has a higher % of a health issue, then make that health issue the reason for increased premiums. There is absolutely no reason to tie it to race. That's like saying a high % of Irish Americans are alcoholic, so those with Irish ancestors should pay higher premiums because alcoholism results in more ins. claims. The issue is the alcoholism, regardless of ethnicity, NOT the ethnicity. (I do think a higher % of Irish are alcoholics, compared to most other ethnicities).

    The poor should not pay higher premiums because of their income. That's ridiculous. Income level is not a permanent thing, for one thing. A wealthy person can lose it all and become poor overnight. Once again, it's not the GROUP that is the concern. It's the health issue. If you make it like before, when ins. cos. could consider prior health when calculating the premium, that covers all bases.

    The thing is the health issue, not the group of people who may happen to have a higher % than normal of that health issue. Many, if not most, in that group will never have that health problem.

    However, in the case of morbid obesity, the obesity ITSELF is the health issue. It WILL result in metabolic syndrome and possibly some other health problems. But the obesity itself is a health problem, to begin with. Being poor or black or Irish are not health problems.
    Last edited by JumpinJack; 06-27-14 at 01:18 PM.

  3. #363
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    Re: Should medically judged fat people pay higher medical costs? [W:87]

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    Blah! This totally negates anything GOOD that would come from the health care overhaul. This leaves us in EXACTLY the same situation as before with things like "preexisting conditions" etc.
    Er...dudes....smokers ARE charged more for health insurance in the individual market under Obamacare, I believe. That's why that question is asked when you sign up. Your AGE and whether you SMOKE. The ins cos are allowed to charge you more for either thing.

    I've heard that some people are lying about whether they smoke. Bad idea. If they get sick, the ins. cos. will know the person smokes (it's in his medical records), and can legally deny the claims because of fraud. And it is fraud to lie about that.

  4. #364
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    Re: Should medically judged fat people pay higher medical costs? [W:87]

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    If you read the link, you would see that just one of the reasons African Americans are at higher risk for heart disease is because they tend to be "overweight." So a simple yes or no. Do you think African Americans should have to pay higher premiums? Also, the poor are considered higher risk for poor health. Should they pay higher premiums?

    The whole POINT of the health insurance overhaul was so that EVERYONE can afford to be insured.
    That may be the POINT of the ACA, but the effect has turned out to be that many middle class, hard working people are struggling to afford what they could easily afford last year. For no fault of their own. Higher premiums, less coverage. Why? So that someone else can have not just the same coverage that they do, but better coverage.

    The effect: If Bob has diabetes type II, that means he lived an unhealthy lifestyle (it's lifestyle induced). It's a chronic condition that is very expensive over the long run. Sure, it's possible to cure it by lifestyle changes, esp in the early stages, but that's too hard. Bob would rather take insulin. Bob could get ins. last year, but the premium was really high, since it was based on what Bob would cost the company. NOW, he can get ins. at a much reduced rate...the same as anyone else (except people over 50 & those who smoke). Bob can even get a subsidy, so can get a silver policy with low deductible. Yay. Bob is happy.

    Person B, who lives a healthy lifestyle and will never get diabetes type II, could get a reasonable policy at a reasonable rate last year, even if s/he was over the age of 50. That's because although they took into account her age, they also took into account her health and lifestyle and the likelihood of her turning in high dollar claims. But NOW, because of Bob and others, Person B's premiums have increased significantly, to the point that she must pull money out of her food budget to pay for them. The coverage is less than she had before, and the deductible is higher (over $6k), so it won't pay for normal medical concerns. That's if she doesn't get a subsidy, and she may not. She cannot afford anything more than the bottom of the bronze plans. Because she has to pay for Bob's claims that he will not be paying for.

    All that pizza that Person B turned down, all the exercise that she does (that Bob won't do), all that is rewarded with UNAFFORDABLE BAD COVERAGE, because she has to pay for the sins of others, who no longer have to pay for their own unhealthy lifestyles.

    The new system is patently unfair and promotes an unhealthy lifestyle. It means that one no longer has control in lowering his/her premium. Whether you turn in zero ins. claims or $1 million dollars in claims makes no difference any longer. Living healthy, staying well, not going to the dr for every little sniffle - none of it matters. Everyone can NOT afford these expensive policies that cover very little.

  5. #365
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    Re: Should medically judged fat people pay higher medical costs? [W:87]

    Quote Originally Posted by JumpinJack View Post
    That may be the POINT of the ACA, but the effect has turned out to be that many middle class, hard working people are struggling to afford what they could easily afford last year. For no fault of their own. Higher premiums, less coverage. Why? So that someone else can have not just the same coverage that they do, but better coverage...
    In the long run, I'm not so sure that premiums are or will become higher. In my state, the Obamacare policies on the exchange are about the same cost as any other coverage offered prior to Obamacare.

    We've all heard horror stories about how someones insurance went way up, but in reality maybe they should have bothered to do some price shopping, including shopping on the government site. I purchased insurance from healthcare.gov and didn't have any issues and enjoyed being able to compare prices on different plans and different insurance companies.

    One of the many things that is happening is that some people who never contributed a dime to their healthcare expenses are not contributing by purchasing insurance, so it's entirely possible that rates will come down. Only time will tell.
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    I see a big problem with the idea that whatever the majority wants is OK.

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    Re: Should medically judged fat people pay higher medical costs? [W:87]

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    Well, you can't hide your obesity, but you can CERTAINLY hide the fact that you smoke, if you have no current health issues.
    Well, maybe. It's difficult to hide the smell.
    and, should you get a disease brought on by smoking while enjoying a non smoker's discount, it could be pretty costly.
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

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    Re: Should medically judged fat people pay higher medical costs? [W:87]

    Quote Originally Posted by JumpinJack View Post
    That may be the POINT of the ACA, but the effect has turned out to be that many middle class, hard working people are struggling to afford what they could easily afford last year. For no fault of their own. Higher premiums, less coverage. Why? So that someone else can have not just the same coverage that they do, but better coverage.

    The effect: If Bob has diabetes type II, that means he lived an unhealthy lifestyle (it's lifestyle induced). It's a chronic condition that is very expensive over the long run. Sure, it's possible to cure it by lifestyle changes, esp in the early stages, but that's too hard. Bob would rather take insulin. Bob could get ins. last year, but the premium was really high, since it was based on what Bob would cost the company. NOW, he can get ins. at a much reduced rate...the same as anyone else (except people over 50 & those who smoke). Bob can even get a subsidy, so can get a silver policy with low deductible. Yay. Bob is happy.

    Person B, who lives a healthy lifestyle and will never get diabetes type II, could get a reasonable policy at a reasonable rate last year, even if s/he was over the age of 50. That's because although they took into account her age, they also took into account her health and lifestyle and the likelihood of her turning in high dollar claims. But NOW, because of Bob and others, Person B's premiums have increased significantly, to the point that she must pull money out of her food budget to pay for them. The coverage is less than she had before, and the deductible is higher (over $6k), so it won't pay for normal medical concerns. That's if she doesn't get a subsidy, and she may not. She cannot afford anything more than the bottom of the bronze plans. Because she has to pay for Bob's claims that he will not be paying for.

    All that pizza that Person B turned down, all the exercise that she does (that Bob won't do), all that is rewarded with UNAFFORDABLE BAD COVERAGE, because she has to pay for the sins of others, who no longer have to pay for their own unhealthy lifestyles.

    The new system is patently unfair and promotes an unhealthy lifestyle. It means that one no longer has control in lowering his/her premium. Whether you turn in zero ins. claims or $1 million dollars in claims makes no difference any longer. Living healthy, staying well, not going to the dr for every little sniffle - none of it matters. Everyone can NOT afford these expensive policies that cover very little.
    I'm sorry. I think you are wrong. We've had a similar program here in Massachusetts that went into effect in 2006 I believe. I don't smoke, but I have also Never been asked if I smoke. My premiums are not any higher this year than last either. They are exactly the same.

    The way it works is everyone has to buy insurance. If you cannot afford insurance, insurance will be provided for you through the state's various programs, depending upon where you fall in the poverty guidelines. Those who do NOT buy insurance are punished on their tax returns by a certain percentage (I know this because I had to pay a $600 penalty on my taxes one year when I did not purchase health insurance).

    The idea is that EVERYONE participates to bring premiums down for everyone.

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    Re: Should medically judged fat people pay higher medical costs? [W:87]

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Well, maybe. It's difficult to hide the smell.
    and, should you get a disease brought on by smoking while enjoying a non smoker's discount, it could be pretty costly.
    Are you serious? Who's to say a person doesn't LIVE with a smoker. Speaking of which, should THEY be charged more for insurance too? Second hand smoke risk factor after all.

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    Re: Should medically judged fat people pay higher medical costs? [W:87]

    Quote Originally Posted by JumpinJack View Post
    Er...dudes....smokers ARE charged more for health insurance in the individual market under Obamacare, I believe. That's why that question is asked when you sign up. Your AGE and whether you SMOKE. The ins cos are allowed to charge you more for either thing.

    I've heard that some people are lying about whether they smoke. Bad idea. If they get sick, the ins. cos. will know the person smokes (it's in his medical records), and can legally deny the claims because of fraud. And it is fraud to lie about that.
    Please post a link. I think you are very wrong.

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    Re: Should medically judged fat people pay higher medical costs? [W:87]

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    Are you serious? Who's to say a person doesn't LIVE with a smoker. Speaking of which, should THEY be charged more for insurance too? Second hand smoke risk factor after all.
    According to the actuaries, no. It's a complex set of rules. The actuaries determine the level of risk by group. The insurance commissions and the law tell the insurance companies who they can/cannot charge more for more risk and when. Secondhand smoke doesn't add risk to the insurance companies.

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