Prescribing financial health

by Christina on April 15, 2010

Another reason to eat right and exercise: Your financial health.

According to this article, “a growing number of advisors are encouraging clients to take better care of themselves because of the impact health has on insurance rates and retirement planning.”

This makes me feel a little bit better about all the money I spend on yoga… if only insurance companies could be convinced that paying for yoga now will save them money later!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Malcolm April 15, 2010 at 4:41 am

This is how I feel about dance, too! Check out my dance blog: http://www.hldance.org/node/102

Mac

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maryastell April 15, 2010 at 5:54 am

I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.

lifestyle

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Frank April 15, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Besides the difficulty of just making a convincing argument, part of the issue here is that people nowadays are switching employers much more often than they were in the past (both by choice and not). With our heavily employer-based health-care system, health-care companies have little incentive to offer benefits that will benefit patients in the long term. With people averaging 6 different employers in their professional careers–and increasing with younger generations, I'm sure (I'm on #4 already)–the average employee would only be expected to have a tenure of 8 to 9 years (and probably decreasing to 5 or 6). What benefit do we think yoga will have? Lower blood pressure at age 55 or 60? Lower risk of a cardiovascular event? If that's 10, 20, or even 30 years out for a retiree, why pay for yoga? In the short term (while that employee is likely to be with that employer and therefore that insurer), it may actually be more expensive due to higher risk of injuries (this would go for paying for any kind of physical activity that might be of benefit). Young coach potatoes are probably cheaper to insure in the short term than young active people. If people could have the same insurer for life, the incentives would reverse.

No?

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Christina April 15, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Hey Frank, great points and I think you're exactly right. Having the same insurer for life would alter the incentives quite a bit!

And yes, we are talking about very long term benefits here — health benefits accrued over a lifetime. You are right that yoga might increase cost in the short term because of injuries – I didn't think about that!

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Malcolm April 18, 2010 at 3:00 am

Many thanks, Maryastell!

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