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In the Prime posts for this week — Health Insurance and Obesity

Hi all,

I wrote two posts this week for the Courier-Journal’s online health portal, In the Prime.

The first was titled, Can an insurance company improve our health?

In this post I use the tragic story of a patient who stopped taking an important medicine because of a high copay. Two recent medical studies have shown that a value-based insurance design, or one that makes affordable the most evidence-based treatments, can actually improve outcomes and lower costs. The idea is simple: Make the best treatments free (or least expensive) while less-proven therapies are more costly. This way, everyone wins: the patient gets cheaper and more effective treatment while the insurance company saves money in the long-term–because of better outcomes.

The second post, which I called The real solution to obesity lies with “the click” tells an inspirational story entwined with my favorite sport, cyclocross. It’s not just an account of how Mr. Earnest Gagnon used cycling, not surgery or pills, to pedal off hundreds of pounds. It’s more about how true solutions to obesity lie with harnessing or stimulating that internal click within ourselves. You know, the flip where something happens inside us. It tells us that it’s time to be healthy. And that once this new philosophy becomes entrenched, there’s no going back. Obesity hath no chance in those who have clicked.


One reply on “In the Prime posts for this week — Health Insurance and Obesity”

BlueCross BlueShield has a fitness program where they’ve associated with an ungodly number of gyms and, for 25$ a month, you can go to all of them as often as you like. When you sign in at the gym you get points that can be redeemed. You also get points for doing their “lifestyle management” online programs. Lifestyle management being things like, “reduce stress”, “quit smoking”, “lose weight” etc etc. To make matters better they contracted with several alternative health care providers (chiropractors, acupuncturists etc) for lower prices. They don’t cover alternative care but you get a discount at certain ones.

They’re metaphorically leading anyone that logs into their website to water and hoping to god that you drink it. 25$ a month to avoid the slew of medications that being overweight would eventually put me on? Yes, yes I’ll take that deal. Points for going to the gym? Awesome for the days my motivation fails me. Points for logging my meals in their weight loss program? Um, yes.

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