Should the Physically Fit Pay less for Health Insurance

Everyone has their own unique fantasy world that they retire to at times to get through the daily grind. Some may be as innocent as retiring to a small cabin in a snowy mountain pass, while others may be as strange and unique as a guy I met whose fantasy was to win the lottery and retire at the beach and live in a two story mobile home. I told him I wasn’t sure there was such a thing as a two story mobile home to which he replied,” Well there oughta be! For people who’s got money.” My fantasy world is looking at magazines that portray the exciting world of being an independent, strong and adventurous male.
I have been separated for almost 11 months now. Being a single guy is something I have had some trouble getting used too. For example: I have had a hard time re-learning how to finish my own sentences. Being separated has given me time to look at myself and begin concentrating on improving things I don’t like about myself. For the last several years, my wife had been trying to encourage me to be more sensitive and show my feelings more. She basically wanted me to be a girl. The thing I have begun to focus on is my weight because I’m afraid it is going to cost me some big bucks!
A Hartford based insurance group known as The Phoenix Companies recently said it plans to offer discounts of up to 20% to those who maintain a healthy BMI or Body Mass Index which is a ratio of based on_____________________. It certainly seems like a reasonable incentive. The CDC estimates that as much as 10 percent of US health care costs are due to overweight or obese people.
However, as of right now, it does not appear that a majority of Americans believe that this is a fair deal. The results of an online poll conducted by US News and World Report revealed that only 29% of respondents believed that obese people should pay higher premiums. This prompted me to examine these men’s magazines that I had been reading a little more closely with regards to this health care debate.
First of all, I can definitely see some examples of men whose BMI ratio would not be favorable not because they are obese, but because they have bodies that are ripped and flexing examples of guys trying to become the next governor of California. The pages of these magazines are full of ads for supplements to increase muscle mass while burning fat.
I have determined that the guys in these articles have reduced their fat and built up their muscle and endurance for two primary purposes: 1). they plan on having sex with as many hot women as they can. 2). they want to see how many times they can cheat death by being involved in high risk athletic endeavors.
Here is an article on some guys who just climbed Mt. Everest. I wonder if they volunteered that information when they were signing up for their health insurance plans. There are articles and ads encouraging guys to free climb thousand foot rock faces, kayak down class four rapids and hike in the middle of grizzly country. You name the risky activity and there is a travel agent waiting to book you on a trip to give it a try at some beautiful far away destination.
Ah, I see another article here espousing the thrills of roping and swimming slot canyons in the western deserts. As I recall, several years ago, a man engaged in such activities had an arm become wedged between two rocks and amputated his arm at the elbow in order to escape.
I remember seeing this person on TV and remember thinking here is a man in superior physical condition and yet his missing half of one arm because he decided to take advantage of his great health and put himself in harms way to test his limits. So today’s Renaissance man can eat right and exercise his way to a BMI of 4 and end up draining valuable insurance resources to treat self -induced amputations, bear attacks or a mean case of herpes.
Now some might say that these men are lacking in a certain level of intelligence to engage in these activities. However, I would be willing to wager that standardized intelligence tests would not identify these blokes as candidates for the short bus. These would be men who would probably considered strong, driven and upwardly mobile studs with strong physical and mental skills, but in the words of Mama Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
So if the debate about health insurance premiums brings us to the topic of charging premiums based on healthy lifestyles, these issues must be a part of the evaluation process because like a friend of mine used to say to people when teased about his large girth,” I can always lose weight, but stupid is bone deep!”