How skydiving could raise state healthcare rates - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

How skydiving could raise state healthcare rates

How skydiving could raise state healthcare rates

Do you have a dangerous hobby like skydiving?

The state is considering finding out more about what its employees are up.

Workers who do things that could put them at risk could be forced to pay more for their health insurance.

A study committee in the House of Representatives is looking into making state employees disclose if they participate in dangerous activities like skydiving or riding motorcycles.

A danger prevention plan is all part of the State's effort to reduce healthcare costs.

But, Deborah Phillips, the employee benefits manager at Doughery, Duggan, and Rouse says this could set a dangerous precedent.

"How do you identify all the dangerous activities?," she said. "When people are on vacation and they go bungee jumping or if you have people skateboarding. How do you identify those activities? How do you identify the people doing the activities? I don't know how you police it."

But the question is are there enough people participating in dangerous activities to raise premiums?

Kirk Rouse is the President of Well Force Administrators, and he says more risk is found in other medical conditions.

"When you start doing a health risk appraisal, you start classifying people by their weight, blood pressure, and their body fat," he said. "We find that in a lot of groups we do that in...you got 30-40 percent of people who would rank out as a medium to high risk."

Phillips says she just does not think there are enough people who are involved in potentially dangerous activities for the state to begin this program.

"I was thinking of our company," Phillips said. "And out of 50 employees, I know that we have one person that skydives. So, for us to collect on an additional premium for an activity that we consider dangerous wouldn't have much of an impact."

The House is trying to find out if state employees should pay more for a thrill.

Health insurance companies say best way to save money was prevention. Preventing a stroke saves insurance companies three hundred thousand dollars.

The House committee doing the study says they will tell leaders about their findings by December 1st.

 

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

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