If you still have health insurance through your workplace, you can consider yourself lucky. But be aware that the rising cost of care is prompting more employers to attach bonuses AND penalties to employees’ premiums as incentives to participate in testing and to make healthier lifestyle choices.
Kaiser Health News reports: “Proponents say such plans offer people a financial incentive to make healthier choices and manage chronic conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, which are driving up healthcare costs in the USA. Even so, studies of the effect of such policies on lifestyle changes are inconclusive. And advocates for people with chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, fear that tying premium costs directly to test results could lead to discrimination.”
I can see both sides. I don’t like the idea of sharing personal health information with employers, and I’m skeptical about the benefits to health or the bottom line. Yet I did participate in insurer-sponsored testing this year with the assurance that my employer would see only aggregated results.
What do you think of all this?