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Battling the Bulge for Lower Premiums
In October I finally bit the bullet, again, and went to weight watchers. Things were going well, my waist was decreasing and the pounds were falling off. People were starting to notice that there was something different about me. I was shopping for smaller sizes. You may be familiar with what happened next—I missed a weight watcher meeting. Before too long I had missed four (4) meetings.
So, like Oprah and apparently a lot of other people I fell off the weight loss wagon. Latest studies show that there are 72 million people in the U.S. who are obese or overweight (yes there is a difference).
What does this mean? It means that obesity comes with a hefty (no pun intended) price tag. For every overweight pound $19.39 is added to healthcare costs. Conservatively that’s about $1037.64 for every overweight individual. Obese and overweight individuals add $127 billion to the national health care bill. We consume 23 trillion calories a year. In layman’s terms that’s 46 billion big macs, 114 billion krispy kreme donuts or 152 billion bags of chips.
We’ve got to do something for the sake of our health (living longer), the national health care bill (to help reduce the federal deficit), and of course our health insurance premiums (so that health insurance is affordable). An individual’s weight is not the only consideration that causes hesitation from insurance companies to extend health coverage. Insurance companies consider the fact that obese individuals are more prone to heart disease, strokes, diabetes and even some cancers.
Insurance options for obese individuals include searching and inquiring with a number of different companies to see which one offers the best coverage plan. The other option is to take certain measures to lose the weight. Whether you get the best burn for a buck at Bally’s, follow in the footsteps of Valerie Bertanlli with Jenny Craig’s volumetrics, pick-up momentum with weight watchers or lose like Wynonna Judd with the Alli weight loss pill.
Losing weight will show the insurer that you are trying to help get yourself out of this category and will ultimately be less of a claims risk in the long run.
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