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Healthcare and the Cost for High Risk Individuals

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posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:08 PM
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reply to post by EnlightenUp
 


The plan we have is a Retiree plan from a company.

I found this:
"That is why some companies are charging smokers more money for their health insurance benefits."
www.fedsmith.com...

So some do, but not all of them. I'm sorry that I said all of them don't. I know that mine doesn't.




posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:08 PM
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A lot of cancers are genetic. So, why shouldn't we do genetic testing on all prospective parents and if they are both carriers they should not be allowed to reproduce. God forbid they should have a defective child that the OP would have to pay for one day.

I agree with the earlier poster who stated that all these healthy folks living to be 120 will ultimately cost the OP much more money than us hard-working, financially responsible sinners. My message to anyone who wants to judge me: get your nose out of my business.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:09 PM
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reply to post by Seeker Mom
 


I'm going to reword my OP. I'm talking about the fact that not all health insurance companies charge more for smokers, and all life insurance companies do.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:10 PM
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You do know that you already pay for other people's insurance already, right? That's the whole logic behind group insurance, which everyone already has. What you pay in and get back out is probably less than some, and those few use more of the collective monies than others, being sicker. The insurance companies make sure that it all evens out, plus a little profit for themselves.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:15 PM
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doublepost



[edit on 4-8-2009 by quackers]

[edit on 4-8-2009 by quackers]



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13

If you smoke, all you have to do is smoke.



Not everyone who smokes gets cancer, so although there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest smoking causes cancer, it is certainly not a given that if you smoke you will get cancer. There are 1.2 billion smokers in the world, thats a fatality rate of 1:2400, or about 4%. Compare that to fatality rates of skydivers at @1:1069 and smoking is a "safer" pastime than skydiving. I suppose I should look at how much insurance is for skydivers and compare that to how much tax the average smoker pays in a year, somehow I think the smoker pays more. It's all relative, don't get to hung up on the big numbers. 5 mill sounds like alot, but relitively speaking, it is not when compared to more "acceptable" activities. Just for the record, I'm a non-smoker.



[edit on 4-8-2009 by quackers]



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:18 PM
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reply to post by quackers
 


I know that not everyone who smokes gets cancer. It's just an increased risk.

And I don't know about skydiving, but I know that when I pay SCUBA insurance it's only like $40 a year. Tons of people are insured. The risk is low, and when something happens, they cover you up to $200,000 or something like that.

There is no "smoker's insurance" that I know of. It's just lumped in with life insurance, and apparently some health insurance companies, but not all.

And the difference is that the tax for smoking does not directly go towards medical care, right? Where does cigarette tax even go?

[edit on 8/4/2009 by ravenshadow13]



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


Yes but people are in the sun all the time and don't get skin cancer.
The people who generally get skin cancer go tanning or go lie out in the sun or spend time in the sun for extended periods without sunscreen.


As I recall it is acknowledged that degrees of exposure matter with smoking as well. We hear about increased risk of lung cancer from smoking and I have come across that it presents a relative risk of 40 but from what base risk and at what rates?

I'm beginning to wonder if there is a racket here on that part of private insurance as well. I cannot off the top of my head recall hearing actual numbers in any detail including savings from early death. What is presented is presented as hysteria about high risk of lung cancer. What does that really mean?

I'm trying to Google info now but not surprisingly I get media evaluations of medical phenomena and not studies and unprocessed stats. One must dig a bit to get at the reality. Do you happen to have concrete data on hand?

Edit: It doesn't look that dismal actually. The increased prices for a policy far outweigh the expected risks-- racket (really I need to crunch it all to say that definitively).

ACS :: Smoking and Cancer Mortality Table

[edit on 8/4/2009 by EnlightenUp]

[edit on 8/4/2009 by EnlightenUp]



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:24 PM
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Wow. ALOT of flame here... I think I'll pour gasoline on the coals.... *chuckle* Im kidding.


I DOUBT Ravenshadow has any PERSONAL vendetta against smokers or drinkers. I dont think thats what turn she meant for this topic to take. Other than sticking up for the OP, a few points, and Im done.

1) healthcare. it. In ANY plan, money is required. From who? Citizens and people who use the plan. End of message. Free services = not happening in US. (Dont care if its healthcare, food, or otherwise. You pay for everything.)

2)? Do I think, personally, that some people should be charged more or less for a healthcare plan? Yes. Yes I do. If your on ATS now, reading this, and you have 30 yachts, YOU need to pay for my children to get their medicine. Your materialistic obsession SHOULD, in fact, raise your taxes to help anyone else.

I dont care if you smoke, drink, or piss on yourself. If you have MORE money, and other, EXTRA EXTRAVEGENT things, (IE: 40 mansions. Noone needs that many.), I think that YOU should pay more. Not if you snowboard, sky dive, or drink... but if you make a ton of money, THATS when a bit should be taken from you to help everyone else.


3)I think bills should be universal, PER person. Not, higer for this chap, or lower because of this woman and her child, or higher for the smoker.... nah...



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:24 PM
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reply to post by EnlightenUp
 


Here are some studies about smoke exposure in general along with smoking (I think this is what you were referring to?)

aje.oxfordjournals.org...

www.bmj.com...

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

www.ajph.org...

www.sciencedaily.com...

cebp.aacrjournals.org...

I tried to get things that weren't from organizations affiliated with smoking media.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:29 PM
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Originally posted by ~ATS~

3)I think bills should be universal, PER person. Not, higer for this chap, or lower because of this woman and her child, or higher for the smoker.... nah...



Encouraging those who choose a unhealthy lifestyle.

Discouraging those who choose healthy lifestyle.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:30 PM
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Personaly I think this stems from old fashioned bigotry. Long gone are the days of scaring kids with threats of communism and now it seams the bogey man is anything that remotely resembles socialism. I think that is the root issue, not smokers. There are still folk who like to feel superior to others, and for them chipping in for the benefit of those around them is simply one step away from being a commie bastard, and that's what they are really scared of. Greed and selfishness, simple as that.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:31 PM
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reply to post by ~ATS~
 


I think that it should be a consistent percentage of annual income, with a slight increase in rate for smokers, at least in group plans where the group has a high percentage of smokers. And health insurance should be higher for people in their 20s, like most companies have now. I'm okay with paying more, just because generally it's a high risk category. People get into car accidents and get alcohol poisoning all the time, and if it's between me paying a bit more or someone with a bunch of kids paying more, I'll pay more for a few years.

But you're right, at least about the sliding scale. If people can afford to pay more for health insurance, they should. But not extravagantly. It should just be a consistent percent of income.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:35 PM
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reply to post by quackers
 


How is it not selfish for the people who cost most to insurance companies because of a personal choice to expect to pay the same for coverage as people who cost the least to the insurance companies? That's how it goes with some companies. I think that is greedy and selfish.

I clearly do not understand, so please explain it to me.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:47 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
reply to post by quackers
 


How is it not selfish for the people who cost most to insurance companies because of a personal choice to expect to pay the same for coverage as people who cost the least to the insurance companies? That's how it goes with some companies. I think that is greedy and selfish.

I clearly do not understand, so please explain it to me.


I can answer that in the context, as I alluded to, that insurance with healthcare companies is a privatized form of socialism. Taken to the extreme logical conclusion, where everyone is perfectly accountable for all choices and misfortunes from whatever cause, insurance becomes illogical and for personal cost to reflect that perfectly, all expenses must be out of pocket.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 08:51 PM
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reply to post by EnlightenUp
 


So one extreme is that everyone pays everything out of pocket, and the other extreme is that we all pay the same exact amount?



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 09:14 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
reply to post by EnlightenUp
 


So one extreme is that everyone pays everything out of pocket, and the other extreme is that we all pay the same exact amount?


That sounds about right. Of course all benefits would be equal as well-- whatever is required for the patient. No matter if it's public or private.

There are people who pay for greater benefits because they want more coverage or lower deductibles but do not have higher risks. They subsidize others along the way.

Other extreme: all out of pocket and all benefits are what you can afford. This is a convergence point for public or private, there's no insurance effectively. On an additional note, faulting people for not only lifestyle choices but for their genomes and any associated additional risks brings us closer to here.



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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reply to post by ravenshadow13
 


Um. No. Wrong.

To Tan or Not to Tan


Sun Tanning: A Way of Life
It’s that time of year yet again. Summer has snuck up and the weather is perfect for BBQ’s, trips to the beach, ice cream, and Vegas pool sides. Of course, before many college students hit these social events, they want to arrive in style wearing the latest trends and the perfect tan. Yes, a tan, a beautifully bronzed body, golden tinted skin…this fashion accessory has become a necessity.



Sunbathing and Our Ancestors
In the U.S and Europe, ironically, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that sun-bathed skin became fashionable. Before then, staying indoors was considered a luxury. Pale skin was a status of wealth if outdoor labor was affordable. When fashion-icon Coco Chanel returned from a trip to the French Riviera with a tan, sun tanning became a trend (Teen's Health, 2003). Many societies, both past and present, have used the sun as a remedy for disease, or a tool for restoring and healing. Long ago, the sun was prescribed to patients to prevent rickets and other chronic diseases correlated to the bones. In modern times, a tan often symbolizes good health and is desirable. Current research on sunlight in moderation evidently curbs diabetes, beats depression, protects against cancer, and lowers blood pressure. Despite these findings, sunbathing is not the same as sun tanning (Nachatelo, 2002). Before slathering on the coconut oil, take a minute to read and learn about your fabulous skin.



The Scoop on Mr. Sun
We all need some sunlight. It is the predominant source of Vitamin D, and promotes absorption of calcium, a mineral crucial for bone health (Teen's Health, 2004). Here in Southern California, we are lavished with lots of beautiful sunshine. Therefore, it’s not surprising that most of us can get an overdose of sunlight, and this is where the problem lies. Prolonged exposure to the sun and its UV (ultraviolet) light results in premature wrinkling, skin cancer, and eye damage. Furthermore, UV light has been more abundant over the last century, and will continue to intensify because the ozone layer, an invisible UV filter, has been significantly reduced(University of Maryland, 2003).




Skin Cancer: A Deadly Reality
Skin cancer has been described by the University of Maryland Medical Center to be “a disease in which malignant cells are found in the outer layers of the skin (‘malignant’ meaning progressive, uncontrolled growth).” Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and comes in three forms: Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), and Melanoma. BCC is the most common, SCC is second-most common, and Melanoma is the rarest and most serious. Skins cancers are curable if detected early, treated appropriately, and closely monitored. Treatment consists of radiation and various surgeries (University of Maryland, 2004). This is a hefty consequence for a fashion accessory. In case you are still not convinced about the severity of this disease, 9,200 Americans lives will be lost to skin cancer yearly. A single severe childhood burn significantly increases the chance of developing skin cancer as an adult (The National Coalition for Skin Cancer Prevention in Health, n.d.).

No Tan is a Healthy Tan
Indoor tanning is no guarantee for a safeguard. A number of tanning salons claim to emit solely UVA light (UVA light is less carcinogenic than UVB light) for the sake of preventing burns (de Grujil, 2002). In fact, the indoor tanning industry has argued that indoor tanning serves as a preventative measure by decreasing the incidence of burns, thus preventing skin cancer. On the contrary, UVA light in tanning beds is more concentrated, and will accelerate aging of the skin. There is also concrete evidence that UVA does in fact cause skin cancer. Moreover, many tanning beds combine UVB light with UVA light to accelerate the tanning process. A tan is the result of melanin, a pigment released into the skin when exposed to UV light. Melanin salvages the skin to some degree, from further UV damage. Although a tan is achieved without sunburn, DNA is damaged before the skin darkens. In conclusion, indoor tanning is a poor substitute for outdoor tanning (The Skin Cancer Foundation, 2005a).




Prevention at it’s Best
Protecting yours skin reaps the benefits, and refraining from outdoor activities is not mandatory. Use a sunscreen SPF 15 or higher with “broad spectrum” protection. SPF stands for sun-protection factor and measures the length of time skin is protected against exposure from UVB light. A higher SPF protects longer. If for instance, a sunscreen is SPF 15 and it takes 10 minutes for one’s skin to burn, the protection period will last for 150 minutes (Federal Trade Commission, 2001). Hence, sunscreen needs to be applied liberally, thoroughly (feet and ears burn as well), and frequently, especially when sweating heavily or coming into contact with water. Sunscreen should have a broad spectrum, meaning that the sunscreen will protect against both UVA and UVB light (The Skin Cancer Foundation, 2005b). Any sunscreen product marked with an American Skin Foundation’s “Seal of Recommendation,” is a reassurance that it has met the “highest standards of safety and effectiveness.” UV rays are most virulent between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and should be avoided during this timeframe, if possible. UV light does penetrate through glass, but clothing, sunglasses, and hats effectively prevent skin damage. Sunscreen and protective wear is also important in snowy or icy weather because UV light reflects off the white terrain (The Skin Cancer Foundation, 2005c).

Fake it, Don’t Break it!
Why not opt for a sunless tanning cream? They may need some assistance to apply, but have significantly improved in quality. Fortunately, modern cosmetics can mimic a real tan and are up to par with safety standards (Teen's Health, 2003). The active ingredient in these products is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which interacts with the epidermis, or outer layer of dead skin cells, to create a tan (The Skin Cancer Foundation, 2005a). DHA is found in almost all self-tanners, including spray booths, airbrush systems and bottled self-tanners you can use at home (Sheehan, 2005). Self-tanners containing DHA are unsafe when internally or applied to body parts unintended for use. This includes area of the body covered by a mucous membrane: eyes, genitals, and lips(Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 2003a). The American Academy confirms that self-tanners are a safe alternative to the sun and do not wash off. However, they are solely used for darkening the skin and offer little or no defense against the sun, so sunscreen is required (American Academy of Dermatology, 2005). DHA is the only FDA approved chemical for the purpose of self-tanning. The product may result in an uneven color on some parts of the body and could potentially stain clothes before setting(Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 2003a, 2003b). Many tanning salons offer airbrush tanning, a more costly option that is more convenient. This costs around $25 and lasts 5-7 days if skin is fully exfoliated before the session. The skin must also be kept dry for best results. Self-tanning lotions bought in the store, are relatively inexpensive and range from $10-$35 (Imko, 2005). Let the buyer beware: studies that examine the long-term effects of DHA may warrant concern. This chemical has expressed genotoxic characteristics, meaning that it could potentially be a health hazard to DNA and the cells. These findings are currently under further investigation (Petersen, Wulf, Gniadecki, & Gajkowska, 2004).

SOURCE:Click for references

[edit on 4-8-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 09:24 PM
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reply to post by Watcher-In-The-Shadows
 


How am I wrong? That's what I said. People who are at risk for skin cancer spend increased time in the sun and tan. Just walking outside to your car isn't going to give you skin cancer.

I know everything that you just posted and I previously said that. You even replied to the post where I said that.

By saying "being in the sun won't give you skin cancer" I mean if you are walking outside for short time periods or sitting near a window, you don't have the same increased risk as people who go tanning or don't wear sunscreen outside.

Look at how darn pale I am. I know the risks of sun damage. I think you misinterpreted my other post.

[edit on 8/4/2009 by ravenshadow13]



posted on Aug, 4 2009 @ 09:28 PM
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reply to post by ravenshadow13
 


So, tanning should go right on that list of things that should make people pay more or should be banned outright. Do you see that natural progression I was talking about? Just a little bit?

P.s.: Why should I know your avatar was you?
Just being cheeky.


[edit on 4-8-2009 by Watcher-In-The-Shadows]



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