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Archive for Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Employers challenged by employees who think they’re being healthy — but aren’t

December 17, 2008

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One of the biggest challenges facing employers is that employees believe they are already engaging in healthy behaviors and may not see the need for change, according to Hewitt Associate’s 2008 annual health care survey.

While 88 percent of employees say they are engaged in healthy behaviors, they don’t necessarily take specific actions toward living a healthy lifestyle. Less than one-half of employees say the eat right or are exercising three or more times per week. Six out of 10 employees say they do a good job at getting preventative screenings, but only four out of 10 say they do a good job at tracking their essential health numbers and asking for advice on how to stay healthy.

To make matters worse, what employees say they do, doesn’t match national data or their employer’s claims and experience. So, they may have good intentions but their actions are waning.

The survey also found that employees support linking incentives to promote healthier lifestyle decisions. Seven out of 10 employees support lower premiums for practicing healthy behaviors such as exercising regularly, and 76 percent of employees agree with the idea of having higher health care premiums for smokers.

Comments

Ryan Neuhofel 6 years ago

Does anyone else find the inherent linkage between your employer and health care/insurance ridiculous? Or maybe we should just apply that relationship to all types of insurance: get our auto insurance through our employer so we would drive safer or home insurance so we would keep up on maintenance.

14all41 6 years ago

I think there should be higher premiums for fat people. Obesity, like smoking, can usually be controlled and leads to heart problems, diabetes, poor circulation, etc. So, lighten the load or pay up!

Steve Jacob 6 years ago

I think there should be higher premiums for women too then. They tend to get pregnant, and that can be controlled!

mriley 6 years ago

Women do pay higher premiums.

alm77 6 years ago

neu, maybe you should buy insurance through a healthclub? Then your habits can at least be tracked with a "clock in system" or something. 14all41, I agree!! srj, it takes two and babies and/or wives are usually covered under a husband's insurance anyway.

Ryan Neuhofel 6 years ago

I think we are all missing the larger point. The importance and value of "prevention" is inherent in a system that promotes ownership of health care. In a employer-based system, we remove (insulate) the end-user from the consequences of their actions . . . and are now trying to artificially impose those principles (eg. wellness plans and srj's suggestion of charging fat people higher premiums)!

Ryan Neuhofel 6 years ago

Toe, I don't follow . . . but maybe I'm just a simpleton.

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