Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-21-2014, 09:27 AM   #41
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Midpack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 11,971
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unpaintedhuffhines View Post
With the explosion in wearable technology (Apple Watch, Fitbit, Nike Fuelband, etc.), we are only a few steps away from insurance companies having access to all of our health data. Would you want to save $1,500 a year if you allowed your health insurance company to know the number of steps you took, your weight, body fat percentage and how many days a week you had at least 30 minutes of cardio?
I'd make that deal for a $1500 discount, but it would have to start as a voluntary program, and obviously only healthy individuals would "subscribe" - so we end up with two (another) tiers. Why shouldn't people who are able/make the effort to maintain their health reap some benefit? There will undoubtedly be reasonable people on both sides of this issue.
__________________

__________________
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
Midpack is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-21-2014, 09:52 AM   #42
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unpaintedhuffhines View Post
With the explosion in wearable technology (Apple Watch, Fitbit, Nike Fuelband, etc.), we are only a few steps away from insurance companies having access to all of our health data. Would you want to save $1,500 a year if you allowed your health insurance company to know the number of steps you took, your weight, body fat percentage and how many days a week you had at least 30 minutes of cardio?
No, because they will want more lifestyle information as well - and that is too invasive to my privacy....imho, of course.
__________________

__________________
BBQ-Nut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2014, 04:00 PM   #43
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I'd make that deal for a $1500 discount, but it would have to start as a voluntary program, and obviously only healthy individuals would "subscribe" - so we end up with two (another) tiers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ-Nut View Post
No, because they will want more lifestyle information as well - and that is too invasive to my privacy....imho, of course.
I'd think about it but like BBQ-Nut I'd be very wary of TMI to the insurance industry. Of course I'm one of those living a healthy lifestyle so would benefit the most. There were times when I didn't.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2014, 04:32 PM   #44
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dixie19 View Post
The sleeper cases these biometric screenings uncover truly saves people's lives. And yes, they save the employer money (and this trickles down to the employee premiums) I understand how distrusting employees are when change is implemented, and took a lot of verbal abuse. I even received a scathing letter from a (overweight) paralegal calling participating being linked to premiums extortion. Of course I shared the letter with the CEO. But truly, a ridiculous percent of us don't get proper preventive care, even when it's covered at 100%. I can say, as the employer, I did not receive, nor care to receive, individualized data on my employees. Just stats from BCBS on who participated so I could properly reduce their premiums. I still agree this program, and the whole current state of our healthcare system, is a mess. That's one reason I retired at 53. But nothing was as satisfying as the 4 people who thanked me for a program that helped them get early intervention for serious life threatening conditions they would have otherwise not discovered.
I appreciate this. But couldn't employers just then tie their contribution to getting a wellness check-up with their own doctor - which is an already covered expense? Why the need to hire some third party vendor that isn't the insurance company or a personal doctor? What about the wellness walking program incentive prescribed by this biometric firm to an overweight diabetic that results in a heart attack? You know the old adage before starting an exercise program is to consult with your doctor. Not a third party vendor who only knows your height/weight and bloodwork results but never bothered to ask about if you suffer from intermittent chest pains, tingling feet, or some other symptom that would have a medical doctor digging more deeply into ones health.

You know, there are unhealthy people that absolutely should not participate in any wellness program that isn't closely monitored by their physician.
__________________
Live Free is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2014, 05:31 PM   #45
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
I'd think about it but like BBQ-Nut I'd be very wary of TMI to the insurance industry. Of course I'm one of those living a healthy lifestyle so would benefit the most. There were times when I didn't.
This. MIB Group (formerly Medical Information Bureau) is still around, and still in operation, sharing data between member insurers under the insurance anti-trust exemption. Should some groups get their wish and insurers are able to return to denying pre-existing condition coverage or cancelling policies on errata (rather than fraud), folks may regret signing away this information.

Be careful, and consider potential consequences against perceived benefits.
__________________
M Paquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 10:18 AM   #46
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unpaintedhuffhines View Post
With the explosion in wearable technology (Apple Watch, Fitbit, Nike Fuelband, etc.), we are only a few steps away from insurance companies having access to all of our health data.
Well I actually do have one friend that puts her pedometer on her young dog's collar to rack up steps each day. Sends the dog out with the kids and gets all kinds of steps added on her pedometer. Her company gives out gift cards to employees that hit a certain average (I think 10K steps per day) each month.

I'm sure she is not the only one that does this. Obviously it is not helping her health -- but unless her company goes to ankle police bracelets as pedometers...
__________________
Live Free is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 10:23 AM   #47
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 731
Quote:
Originally Posted by Live Free View Post
Well I actually do have one friend that puts her pedometer on her young dog's collar to rack up steps each day. Sends the dog out with the kids and gets all kinds of steps added on her pedometer. Her company gives out gift cards to employees that hit a certain average (I think 10K steps per day) each month.

I'm sure she is not the only one that does this. Obviously it is not helping her health -- but unless her company goes to ankle police bracelets as pedometers...
It won't be ankle bracelets....wait for voluntary then mandatory 'implants'.
__________________
BBQ-Nut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 11:01 AM   #48
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,807
Quote:
Originally Posted by Live Free View Post
I appreciate this. But couldn't employers just then tie their contribution to getting a wellness check-up with their own doctor - which is an already covered expense? Why the need to hire some third party vendor that isn't the insurance company or a personal doctor? What about the wellness walking program incentive prescribed by this biometric firm to an overweight diabetic that results in a heart attack? You know the old adage before starting an exercise program is to consult with your doctor. Not a third party vendor who only knows your height/weight and bloodwork results but never bothered to ask about if you suffer from intermittent chest pains, tingling feet, or some other symptom that would have a medical doctor digging more deeply into ones health.

You know, there are unhealthy people that absolutely should not participate in any wellness program that isn't closely monitored by their physician.
I agree with you - and so does the data in the article I linked previously.

This 3rd party "wellness" industry that corporations hire is $6 Billion a year - in addition to the premiums they're already paying. So it's a big business.

From the article I previously linked - quoting Nancy Koehn of Harvard Business School:
Quote:
And they're not having any lasting effects on their health, either, she adds.

"All these incentives, all these hurdles, greatly increase the cost of testing employees. So these things are more costly than you might think."
Here's the link to the article and podcast
The shortcomings of the corporate wellness program | Marketplace.org
__________________
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 11:39 AM   #49
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 138
That is an interesting article Rodi. The ending where Ms. Koehn suggests that there is a darker undertone to these programs really resonates with me. The corporate big brother controlling your life feeling.

I also agree that this is HR folks in corporate america patting themselves on the back for coming up with incentive programs (or maybe not incentives but sometimes big pointy sticks) that do very little in improving long term health but increase employee costs.

I'm guessing that most smokers already know and have been told by their doctor to quit smoking. Smoking cessation programs are already a covered benefit under our health insurance.

Overweight people I am certain know that they are fat and should lose weight to be healthy. Guess what? I just checked and the corporate health insurance covers nutrition programs and has a TON of health care tools related to exercise and weight management available to members for FREE.

I think corporate america is being duped by a third party wellness industry into paying for something they already pay for through their primary health insurance company.
__________________
Live Free is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #50
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2,983
Quote:
Originally Posted by Live Free View Post
You know, there are unhealthy people that absolutely should not participate in any wellness program that isn't closely monitored by their physician.
The program my employer had allowed for modified goals based on what your physician thought appropriate. DH is 76, on prescriptions that depress his appetite, he has a creaky back (currently getting PT for it), and has a balance issue due to a couple of subdural hematomas he got from falls. No, he should NOT be out bicycling with me. He does, however, wear a pedometer even though we're no longer part of the program and is working on exercises to improve his balance and strengthen his back muscles. Nearly every health issue can be improved with changes to diet and exercise, but I do agree that a doctor needs to be involved for major problems. The alternative- resigning yourself to life on the couch with a bag of Cheetos nearby and an army of prescription bottles- isn't good for anyone.
__________________
athena53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2014, 12:32 PM   #51
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
powerplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,380
Here is an article about an employee who chose not to participate in the company wellness plan and was later fired for refusing. A lawsuit was filed by USEEOC over the issue. These events took place in 2009 and the lawsuit apparently just a couple months ago. It will be interesting to see what happens.

First Wellness Program Firing Suit Filed by U.S. Agency - Bloomberg
__________________
powerplay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2014, 02:13 PM   #52
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,424
That's just not right. I'm ok with employer's providing incentives and perhaps even charging a bit less for those who participate, but to fire someone for refusing to participate doesn't sit well with me - I wonder if there is more to the story than what we are being told.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2014, 03:08 PM   #53
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
powerplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
That's just not right. I'm ok with employer's providing incentives and perhaps even charging a bit less for those who participate, but to fire someone for refusing to participate doesn't sit well with me - I wonder if there is more to the story than what we are being told.
I think there is usually more to the story. Perhaps there will be more coverage on the story as the lawsuit unfolds.
__________________
powerplay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2014, 03:47 PM   #54
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by powerplay View Post
Here is an article about an employee who chose not to participate in the company wellness plan and was later fired for refusing. A lawsuit was filed by USEEOC over the issue. These events took place in 2009 and the lawsuit apparently just a couple months ago. It will be interesting to see what happens.

First Wellness Program Firing Suit Filed by U.S. Agency - Bloomberg
Not surprised to read this at all. I can't believe I'm the only one who finds giving out my medical information to some "wellness firm" that requires that I sign a form that lets them give that information to other parties (not my doctor) to be stupid, an invasion of my privacy, and a total PIA. I also firmly believe this will only increase health care costs for employees and have little to no long term health benefits.

The link between employment and health insurance cannot end soon enough.
__________________
Live Free is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2014, 03:53 PM   #55
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,880
Quote:
Originally Posted by Live Free View Post
.............The link between employment and health insurance cannot end soon enough.
It's worse than that. I've been retired 7 years and my former employer is still picking up 90% of my healthcare costs.

And yes, I fill out a wellness form and have a free annual physical.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2014, 05:56 PM   #56
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 391
I learned, after the first year of Big Brother insurance--don't answer the questions honestly, just answer them with what will make them leave you alone. (I don't mean falsify the biometric sort of thing, but the lengthy self-evaluation--rate your stress level on a scale of...blah, blah blah.) They decided I had "stress"--took care of that one, I retired! Once that happened, taking care of self became much easier.
__________________
palomalou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2014, 06:34 PM   #57
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,880
Quote:
Originally Posted by palomalou View Post
I learned, after the first year of Big Brother insurance--don't answer the questions honestly, just answer them with what will make them leave you alone. (I don't mean falsify the biometric sort of thing, but the lengthy self-evaluation--rate your stress level on a scale of...blah, blah blah.) They decided I had "stress"--took care of that one, I retired! Once that happened, taking care of self became much easier.
+1 . I give the answers they want to hear. The program is set up to compare last year's lies answers to your latest answers. I forgot one of the answers and fell to a 99 from a 100 and was admonished because I was degrading year over year.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2014, 07:07 PM   #58
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,807
My former employer offered an insurance that was self funded, but sitting on top of insurance by BCBS (BCBS network). In a few geographic locations they also offered Kaiser Permanente - but not the corporate headquarters. Pretty much only the CA sites had Kaiser. The majority of US employees were in Illinois and Pennsylvania.

The wellness promotions were pushed corporate wide- but you had to be in the BCBS plan to access them. For example: they offered free onsight flu shots - but only if you had that flavor of insurance. They offered free onsight lipid panel screening - but only if you had that insurance. The required EVERYONE to take the wellness surveys - but only offered discounts to those in the more prevalent insurance provider.

I didn't see any advantage at all, to me, for the stuff they were pushing... other than it was money that wasn't going to my annual bonus.

They tauted this as employee benefits - rah-rah, aren't they great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Live Free View Post
Not surprised to read this at all. I can't believe I'm the only one who finds giving out my medical information to some "wellness firm" that requires that I sign a form that lets them give that information to other parties (not my doctor) to be stupid, an invasion of my privacy, and a total PIA. I also firmly believe this will only increase health care costs for employees and have little to no long term health benefits.

The link between employment and health insurance cannot end soon enough.
I linked an NPR story early in this thread about this. The wellness industry is well liked by corporations. Polls show that 80% of corporations that use wellness services for their employees like it. - But these programs do not statistically reduce mortality or improve health. It's a case where we need some bean counter to wake up the HR department that the money isn't well utilized. Perhaps reducing the employee's portion of the insurance premium would be a better use of the $.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2014, 07:52 PM   #59
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Perhaps reducing the employee's portion of the insurance premium would be a better use of the $.
Yep. I'm sure it would improve my (mental) health if they used the money for this instead.
__________________
Live Free is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2014, 12:41 PM   #60
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 138
Government Says Bosses Can't Force Workers To Get Health Tests : Shots - Health News : NPR

Above is a link to another lawsuit (third one) filed in October by EEOC against a firm (Honeywell in this case) and their "voluntary" wellness program.

In this case, Honeywell considers program participation "voluntary" but, according to the article, "In the Honeywell wellness program, employees and their spouses are asked to get blood drawn to test their cholesterol, glucose and nicotine use, and also have their body mass index and blood pressure measured. An employee who refuses is subject to a $500 surcharge on health insurance premiums and could lose up to $1,500 in Honeywell contributions to a health savings account. A worker and spouse are also each subject to a $1,000 tobacco surcharge if they refuse to do the screening. That means a couple could face a combined $4,000 in financial penalties."

Is that really voluntary?

In the concluding sentence of the article, "Despite employers' enthusiasm for wellness programs, "there's no good research that shows these programs actually improve health outcomes or lower employer costs," says JoAnn Volk, a senior research fellow at Georgetown University's Center on Health Insurance Reforms." YEP! That is believe.

This still annoys the heck out of me.
__________________

__________________
Live Free is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Factoring in Healthcare Cost Increases into "your number" ShortInSeattle Health and Early Retirement 6 08-24-2014 03:59 PM
Is a company's pension fund "separate" from company ? Delawaredave5 FIRE and Money 10 08-05-2013 10:21 AM
Title Insurance Company - Does it matter which company issue the policy? Disappointed FIRE and Money 6 02-07-2012 12:02 PM
Would This Work As A Partial Solution For Our Healthcare Mess? outtarentals Health and Early Retirement 0 01-25-2008 11:28 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:55 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.