|My nephew drew me this picture for my birthday -- it's a defibrillator. I'm doing my best not to need a real one!|
I am in no position to turn down a free $50, so I filled it out. When I was doing so, I didn't learn anything new about my health risks -- I already knew my BMI, I already knew I wanted to lose weight, and I already knew most of my other health risks were low. My cholesterol numbers have always been excellent, and the last time I had my blood sugar checked (using an A1C test), it ran toward the low end of normal. It did remind me, though, that I am due for a physical to get those numbers rechecked.
Taking the assessment also reminded me about the partial reimbursement for Weight Watchers offered by my company. I was able to buy monthly passes through them at a lower rate, and then, if I go to four months of meetings and fill out some paperwork, I can get $75 back. That was actually what pushed me that extra step to sign up.
I know some people might resent the intrusion into their personal choices, but for me, these little incentives pushed me to do things I wanted to do anyway. And for the insurance company, it's a genius move. If $150 in incentives causes even a small percentage of their clients to lose weight, and if that weight was a risk factor for even a small percentage of them, just think how much they will save in costs of managing weight-related diseases like heart disease and diabetes. They also offer things like smoking cessation programs, which would save them even more.
Does your insurance company cover these kinds of preventative services? Do you take advantage of them?