More employers penalize smokers with higher insurance premiums

walmart

Wal-Mart Stores, the nation’s largest employer, recently sought the higher payments from some smokers, as much as $2000 more than non-smokers.

Employers are making  a shift toward penalizing employees with unhealthy lifestyles rather than rewarding employees with good habits as more employers are demanding that workers who smoke, are overweight or have high cholesterol shoulder a greater share of their health care costs.

 

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People given financial incentives to stay healthy are less likely to be admitted to hospital

hospital

Incentive-based health programs can motivate people to change their behaviour.

Among insurance customers who were rewarded with lower premiums for keeping fit, those who added two gym visits to their weekly routine were 13 per cent less likely to go to hospital.

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Top 20 most dangerous U.S.cities for pedestrians

pedestrians

Florida holds the top four on the list with the most dangerous places to walk in America.

The 2011 edition of the “Dangerous by Design” report has just been released by Transportation for America, which calculated the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) in metro areas around the country. Cities where people walk more have more pedestrian deaths, so the index plots the number of pedestrians who die against the number of people who walk.

 

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Health Insurers Make Huge Profits While Many Americans Postpone Care

health-insurance

Health insurers propose double-digit increases in their rates, citing a need for protection against any sudden uptick in demand once people have more money to spend on their health.

Major health insurers in the U.S. are heading into a third year of record profits.  Their earnings have been enriched in recent months by a lingering recessionary mind-set among Americans.  Many who are postponing or forgoing medical care.

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Study: 129 Million Americans Under 65 Have Pre-Existing Health Conditions

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Health problems could prevent Americans from obtaining health insurance.

As many as 129 million Americans under age 65 have health problems that could hurt their ability to obtain health insurance or force them to pay higher premiums, a U.S. government study said on Tuesday.

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Small Island States in Danger of ‘Extinction’

islands

The island of Tarawa, Kiribati, South Pacific

All of the global warming hype has created unprecedented levels of fear among people in small island countries like Tarawa and Kiribati. They are now calling for a ‘climate change insurance fund’ to protect their people from ‘going extinct’ as yet another fear-based UN report warns that a sea level rise will make whole nations uninhabitable.

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Intelligent Cars Fitted With Black Boxes Will Report Accidents to Police and Insurance Companies

car-tech

An electrical car with Intel Connected Car applications.

Intelligent cars fitted with aircraft-style black boxes that can send video footage and information about driving behaviour during accidents to the police and insurance companies are being developed by computer scientists.  The car, which is being developed by researchers at computer chip giant Intel, will record information about the vehicle speed, steering and braking along with video footage from inside and outside the vehicle.

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Uninsured Don’t Go to the ER More Than Insured According to Study

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People with health insurance are just as likely to use the ER as people without insurance.

A kiss gone awry isn’t the typical route that lands a person in the emergency room, but that’s just how Maggie Craytor ended up in the University of Virginia Medical Center’s emergency department in August.”She was running after her older brother Luke to give him a kiss, and she fell and got a cut right underneath her eye,” says her mother, Allison. Maggie, now 4, needed two stitches. Her mother is glad the family had insurance to cover the costly emergency visit her pediatrician’s office recommended.

 

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