Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Healthy Habits May Cut Price Of Insurance

“Workers who quit smoking, lose weight, and eat right could have their health insurance premiums cut by as much as half, possibly saving them thousands of dollars per year, under a measure inserted with little notice this week into the Senate healthcare overhaul bill. The move represents a potential breakthrough on one of the most controversial elements of healthcare overhaul: how to get Americans to improve their well-being without turning government into a medical version of Big Brother. Under the plan, individuals would have a strong financial incentive for jumping on a treadmill or signing up for smoking cessation classes, moves that would not only prolong their lives but also reduce the financial burdens of behavior-related disease on the healthcare system. ‘Money talks,’ Senator Judd Gregg, the New Hampshire Republican who helped broker the deal reached Monday night, said in an interview. ‘People react to incentives that involve cash.’

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