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Re: Spending In Retirement
Old 07-20-2006, 05:27 PM   #41
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Re: Spending In Retirement

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
I think that some obesity is just a result of laziness and lack of discipline. Heck, if I ate everything I'd like to and never exercised, I'd be obese, too.

But there is another side to it, and many morbidly obese people probably fall into this category: there may be a biochemical imbalance that makes it difficult for them to restrict calorie intake.
Maybe.* *But whatever the reason, we know that obesity is bad for you and that burning more calories than you consume is the only way to not get fat.

So, I've got a dumb question.

Why doesn't insurance cover proven ways to prevent and/or reverse obesity?* *I'm talking about simple things like Weight Watchers, frequent doctor follow-ups, personal trainers or gym memberships, etc.

It seems like we know the answer (even in the absense of self-motivation and/or compliance to a doctors recomendation), but nobody is pushing for proven paths towards better compliance.
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Re: Spending In Retirement
Old 07-21-2006, 07:42 AM   #42
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Re: Spending In Retirement

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Originally Posted by wab
Maybe. But whatever the reason, we know that obesity is bad for you and that burning more calories than you consume is the only way to not get fat.

So, I've got a dumb question.

Why doesn't insurance cover proven ways to prevent and/or reverse obesity? I'm talking about simple things like Weight Watchers, frequent doctor follow-ups, personal trainers or gym memberships, etc.

It seems like we know the answer (even in the absense of self-motivation and/or compliance to a doctors recomendation), but nobody is pushing for proven paths towards better compliance.
I read an article about how the Veteran's Administration has really turned around to provide some really good care. (Business Week maybe?) One of the things they now emphasize is preventive care. Because the patients are eligible for VA services for life, the VA is interesting in keeping them healthy from the get go. In contrast, insurance companies rarely cover anyone for more than a few years. So, on a individual basis there isn't a perceived upside to covering preventive care.

When I was in management, I thought it was in the best interest of our business and employees to pay for things such as smoking ceasation programs, YMCA memberships, and weight loss programs so we did that on our own. We actually had a number of smokers quit smoking successfully. We also had a number that have had to try and try again. But addiction is hard. Once you are addicted to something it may take a lot of help and a lot of trys to get past it.
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Re: Spending In Retirement
Old 07-21-2006, 07:53 AM   #43
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Re: Spending In Retirement

My reluctantly cynical view: insurance carriers will cover what is profitable. Only. The more responsible carriers may take a 3-5 year view of "profitable" while the less responsible take it year to year.

We either have to mandate coverage or make it financially neutral or unsound to NOT cover such items (prevention and lifestyle modification).

Hard to see either happening in a totally free-market health care reimbursement system. Ironically, no problem with reimbursement for a hopelessly ill, unresponsive 85 year old in the ICU on a ventilator. Both sides deserve the best, but I'm not sure we can afford both.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Re: Spending In Retirement
Old 07-21-2006, 08:49 AM   #44
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Re: Spending In Retirement

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa

If you liken it to depression, perhaps another example of a biochemical imbalance whose manifestations overlap the range of personalities on the "downer" side, telling a morbidly obese person to just stop eating so much is a bit like telling a depressed person to just cheer up.
Rich, I couldn't agree more with you.

I'm a disciplined person who strongly believes in a life style of personal responsibility, control and accountability. But when my youngest grandson was born with mild cerebral palsey six years ago, I began a learning curve which has opened my eyes. He just can't "will away" his limitations and those limitations profoundly effect his personality, likes, dislikes, cravings, etc.

I also have a very close friend who suffers from depression. Interesting, while immersed in one of his "funks," he obcesses about how much he hates overweight people. He goes on and on about their lack of self-control and discipline and how their appearance sickens him. Yet, when I mention, as you suggested, that he simply cheer up, quit his heavy smoking and drinking, he screams "not fair!"

Sadly, we still seem to be a long way from understanding why some folks are self-destructive and over eat, smoke, drink, commit crimes, get depressed, obcess in hateful ways, etc. And for some reason, those inflicted with obesity draw our wrath the most.
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Re: Spending In Retirement
Old 07-21-2006, 09:09 AM   #45
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Re: Spending In Retirement

Have any of you seen any ads in running or bicycling or other cardio sports oriented magazines offering less costly health insurance to those who can substantiate their exercise regimens or meet certain athletic performance criteria?

Seems to me there ought to be a niche there for insurers...assuming the bumps and sprains associated with the exercising didn't offset the cost savings for diabetic treatment, heart disease, etc.

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Re: Spending In Retirement
Old 07-23-2006, 04:10 PM   #46
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Re: Spending In Retirement

Private health care insurers don't want to pay for programs to prevent obesity, etc.* because their expenditures will not increase profits. But this is one advantage of a publicly funded health system. Ultimately, the public will pay, now or later. So there is a financial incentive to support health promotion and preventive care.
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