Make Money to Lose Weight
Would more people lose weight if they got paid every time they lost ten pounds? I’m betting they would. Some folks spend hours every week clipping coupons. Motorists will drive an additional five miles to save ten cents per gallon on gasoline. Smokers have cut back on cigarettes due to the high taxes. People are going out of their way to save very little money.
People don’t like exercise so many don’t exercise, but few people like their jobs, yet they will work over 40 hours a week to receive overtime pay. If people need motivation to lose weight and be healthier, and earning or saving money will get these individuals to lose fat and exercise, then insurance companies need to take action.
Michael P. Jones, a gastroenterologist, wrote an article posted on October 20, 2013 in the Los Angeles Times titled, “The no-pills, no-frills cure for heartburn. ” He was able to lower his cholesterol and blood pressure, and relieve his heartburn completely by losing extra weight and eating better, yet doctors provide pills instead of advice. The prescription drugs provide some relief, but you need to fix the problem, not mask the symptoms. He writes, “We need a healthcare system that rewards good choices and makes bad ones less attractive.”
Since extra weight causes all sorts of health problems and insurance companies have to bear some of these costs, the insurance companies should pay us if we take action to improve our overall health and lose weight. How about rewarding those who are fit by giving us discounts since we don’t get diseases caused by bad habits.
Here’s how I think it can work. Your primary care doctor will note in your patient file that you are overweight, or have osteoporosis, for example. Then the doctor writes what is needed to correct that problem. In the case of being overweight, losing weight and seeing a nutritionist will be the treatments recommended. The doctor then gives you the phone number to the nutritionist, and that visit is covered 100% by insurance. If you have osteoporosis, weight-bearing exercises are the course of treatment, and documented training sessions with a certified trainer are reimbursable. When the doctor submits a letter showing the previous weight and your new lowered weight by ten pounds or more, you get a check.
We need to fix this mess of a system we have and get insurance companies to reward us monetarily for preventative and future care for the sake of our health. It will save everyone money and we’ll all feel and look a whole lot better.