A new assessment of the Obamacare seems to reveal that if you are overweight, have cholestrol or blood pressure or in worse case if you are a smoker you could end up paying much more for insurance. So in another word if you don’t meet certain standards for health guidelines your employer could charge extra premiums up to 50% more if you are a smoker.
However, let’s not forget that Obamacare does provision for existing conditions in another word insurers cannot over charge or refuse you based on previous history of issues. What the above statements fail to mention is the fact that they can increase premium if you don’t participate in well care programs and take care of yourself. Of course they are trying to prevent discrimination but in the meantime they are hoping to provide incentives for public to stay healthy or even get healthy.
There is always an argument that those who indulge in bad or unhealthy habits are also those who run up bills for medical care and insurance payments. So is this justified? On the other hand survey reveal that lower income population is more likely to practice these habits and having higher rates could hurt them more. And isn’t the goal of the new healthcare system to provide care for higher percentage if not all of the people, specially those who could not afford it before?
On the other hand it is never good for employers, insurers and government to tell you what you should do and how to leave. Yet those who are not smokers would claim why they need to pay for those who are and cause more cost. The worse part is everyone does need insurance coverage and medical assistance is a major life necessity so it is matter of balancing where we need to be more conservative or liberal in discrimination. This might not be the right one.
Of course encouraging employees to participate in healthy lifestyles is a good things. But unfortunately surveys shows that when these programs are offered most employees really don’t make an effort on average employees loose a pound a year of weights and when gym memberships are offered usually those who are already going to the gym participate and others who might really need the change of habits do not.
So what is the solution obviously we need to insure that everyone has equal opportunity access to affordable health care so they can seek medical help for themselves or their family members and those who they support but in the meantime like auto insurance you don’t want to incur the cost who are careless or reckless with their personal health and lifestyle. The question is something that will remain, rules and legislation obviously can dictate and impact this however at the end of the road it is a social responsibility to find ways to provide help to all community members to stay on healthy path and to live a healthy life. Let’s at least hope that some of these debates and changes are going to have positive impact for those who really need it.