What insurance companies are thinking

I have mentioned before how my inexpensive health insurance puts a big emphasis on me being healthy. Health challenges, free health screenings, even a stipend for being healthy. Everything they do points to the fact that they want their clients healthy.

Why? It is not because my health insurance is a bleeding heart with my best intentions in mind, even though I am sure they are lovely people. Insurance is a business. The way insurance works is a bit of a gamble. After asking me a few questions about my lifestyle, the insurance company will give me a rate that I pay into monthly. This is called your premium. Your premium is equal to how much risk the health insurance company thinks you are. You see, when you go to the hospital, depending on your plan, your health insurance will kick in and pay for part of the visit. Your health insurance company gambles, based on your medical history, the chances of you visiting the hospital. If your chances are high, your premium will tend to be higher. If your chances are low, you can find yourself with a lower premium.

It is not that health insurance companies are sharks. But it is a business, and one that you should know about. You will become more of a risk to a health insurance company if you have a pre-existing condition. This condition is a gambling red flag for a health insurance company, which is often why you will not be covered on a policy if you have such a condition.

Which all leads back to my health insurance company. Why do they spend so much marketing and time to keep its policy holders healthy. When we are healthy, we are less of a risk, which means we are less of a risk financially to the company as well.

While many will find it a bit cold hearted that his or her insurance company has no real vested interest in them besides financially, I on the other hand, am happy to take the benefits of this business transaction. I happily accepted the $100 stipend just for passing my routine health tests, and I receive their monthly newsletter with tips to becoming a healthier me. You see, I do not really care about the motivation of the health insurance company. If the company wants me healthy, by all means, I accept.

The latest marketing ploy from my health insurance company to inspire us to become healthy is to eat more vegetables. By tracking your vegetable intake, employees can be entered in to a drawing for prizes and gift cards. The campaign has inspired some employees to have a weight loss challenge/bet. Each participant puts money into the pot. Those that beat the weight loss goal get to the split the money. Those who do not are out the money. And all this stemmed from a marketing ploy by our insurance company.

Sure, it is all a numbers game to the insurance company, but I am happy to reap the rewards.