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Old 09-10-2007, 02:45 PM
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Has the health insurance industry gone too far? Should they charge more to people who are over weight? Or charge more if you have high blood pressure?

What's your view on this?

Some Companies Penalize for Health Risks - First they tried nudging. Now companies are penalizing workers who have high health risks such as obesity and high blood pressure or cholesterol as insurance costs climb.

Lee Morrison, 51, doesn't mind the push, which came in the form of added insurance charges from his employer, Western & Southern Financial Group.

"I knew if I wanted to be healthier and pay less, it was up to me to do something about it," said Morrison, who has lost 54 pounds and lowered his body mass index enough to earn refunds the past two years.

A small number of companies have linked health factors to what employees pay for benefits, but the practice is expected to grow now that some federal rules have been finalized, spelling out what's allowed by law. Employee advocates worry that other anti-discrimination laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act won't cover the person who is 20 or 30 pounds overweight.

The businesses are deducting from employees' paychecks, adding insurance surcharges or offering insurance discounts or rebates only to low-risk workers.
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