Obesity Is Risky
There are several aspects of insurance that many of us seem to misunderstand. Insurance costs, be it car, life, health, or lightning insurance, represents the amount of risk undertaken by insurance companies to insure you.
This fact is one reason why health insurance rates have been increasing – people are not as responsible with their health as they should be. Another reason is that with the increase in preventive medical care (i.e. lots of preventative medical tests et al), medical costs have risen. These reasons are several of the main causes of high insurance premiums.
These reasons make sense – hurricane insurance would cost more in North Carolina than it would in, say, Kansas. The same would apply to wheat insurance in Kansas, or whatever they like to insure there. The point is, wherever the risk for getting a pay out is higher, insurance companies are forced to increase premiums.
Where obese people are concerned, insurance companies can and should use the same logic. It is a fact that obese people are more likely than healthy people to contract type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, triglycerides, and high cholesterol, all of which are extraordinary health risks (http://www.webmd.com/diet/tc/obesity-health-risks-of-obesity second paragraph).
Since the vast majority of people who are obese are people who can prevent it, the responsibility should fall on their shoulders to make themselves healthy. Not only will be it be smarter from a financial standpoint, but there is absolutely no negative to getting healthy. For example, if obese patients were to lose ten percent of their body fat, their lifetime medical costs could be reduced $2,200 to $5,300 (http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/efan04004/efan04004g.pdf page 1, first paragraph). So it is clear that beyond the obvious physical benefits that can be attained from taking obesity into people’s own hands, the financial benefits are staggering. Not only could people reduce their medical costs, their insurance premiums would immediately drop as well.
To make a long story short, insurance represents risks of insurance, and since obesity, for the large part, represents something that patients can prevent, insurance companies should be allowed to increase costs for patients who are clinically obese.