Insurance companies have various ways of determining health insurance premiums. The laws which regulate these practices vary from state to state. Currently many insurance companies charge rates according to the health of each applicant for individual policies. Generally the person’s age, gender and occupation are factors in determining rates. Current and pre-existing conditions are also factors in establishing prices.
The Health Status Rating is a rating system which charges higher premiums to people who have medical conditions or a history of medical conditions. Oftentimes, a health status rating is used for people who are joining a health plan for the first time. This is primarily used for individual and small group health plans.
The Health Status Rating system specifies certain conditions which could increase the likelihood that new clients may need health care. In these cases a person who might need health care could pay more than one who does not indicate a need for health care. Currently insurance companies can decide to offer or decline insurance coverage to people with certain underlying conditions. However, beginning in 2014 under the new health care insurance law they may not be able to do this.
Employers seeing their health insurance costs increase are raising rates. They can do this by requiring some workers to either pay higher deductibles or increase the costs of their policies. Individuals and families who don’t have employer-provided health insurance are particularly vulnerable to high rates because they must pay for the total insurance bill on their own.
One national company has requested that employees must reveal their weight, height, body fat and blood pressure. The company referred to this as a “health screening and wellness review.” Employees who refuse to provide the information will be required to pay an extra $50.00 per month for their health insurance.
Let take a look at this requested information. First of all the company wants to know the height, weight and body fat levels. This means they want to know the percentage of body fat relative to your overall height and weight. Your body fat percentage is calculated by taking your age, height, weight, gender and waist measurement into account. This will determine if you have too much or too little body fat. Body fat levels affect the immune system. Too much or too little can increase the risk of developing health problems.
High levels of body fat can be dangerous to your health because excess body fat increases your risk of developing serious health problems. High blood pressure is one of the primary risk factors. Excess amounts of body fat also increases your risk of developing high cholesterol, cancer and diabetes.
Low levels of body fat can be detrimental to health in numerous ways. Extreme low levels of body fat decrease the function of the immune system. This increases the body’s susceptibility to illness. It can also deprive the body of stored energy and lead to a loss of bone density which can increase the risk of stress fractures.
Your health insurance costs may definitely be cheaper if you are in good health. Therefore, your best option to avoid an increase in your cost of future health insurance is to be as healthy as you can be. In general, eating right and exercising will go a long way towards achieving this goal.