Reducing Healthcare Costs
Time and time again we are reminded about the benefits of eating right. It’s a fact that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other anti-oxidants can help you to lose weight and stay fit. But a healthy diet can also reduce your healthcare costs, and your health insurance premiums.
Healthcare costs and by association health insurance costs have been growing steadily over the past decade. So have American waistlines, and medical professionals and health insurance agents alike do not think this is a coincidence. The big increase in the use of healthcare and health services is directly in proportion to the increase in the American waistline. Obesity has become an epidemic in this country, and many agree it is a major cause for much of the increased costs in health care. Obesity contributes to many major diseases including diabetes and heart disease. If you have been shopping for an individual health insurance policy then you know that many companies charge more for people that smoke and for people who are overweight. Yet obesity is now recognized as the number two “preventable cause for death “ next to smoking in America, and increasingly weight loss programs and weight loss procedures are being covered by medical insurance. Writers of health insurance policies are realizing that there is little profit for them in an obese population.
Similarly, allergies, especially among children account for large part of the medical cost covered by most health insurance policies. A recent study released in Britain, followed children on the Greek Isles. The researcher found that the Mediterranean Diet – rich in Olive Oil, Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables actually warded off respiratory allergy symptoms. Staples in the diet of the children on the Island of Crete include Apples, Tomatoes, Grapes and Oranges, foods extolled for their high level of anti-oxidants and other positive health effects. Researches believe they also may contribute to the relatively low incidence of respiratory allergies of the children in the study, while their skin allergies are comparable to other populations. If eating these foods can reduce allergy symptoms than they certainly can reduce the high cost of allergy related treatments.
Many insurance companies are recognizing the benefit of preventive medicine and wellness education and are providing medical benefit coverage for such programs - including diet and nutrition. Insurance companies are finally coming to realize that it costs them a lot less to keep a person healthy than pay for them when they get sick. A healthier “Risk Pool” benefits everyone by allowing for more affordable health insurance rates.