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Still obese

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Old 02-04-2010, 11:25 AM   #1
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Default Still obese

I'm pretty confident that my February weigh in will have me under 200 lbs. My medical stats were fantastic at December physical. Friends and even strangers at the Y are often complimenting me on my weight loss. My physical fitness level is better than it's been in 20 years.

And then...

My employer changed insurance carriers and we all had to do an on line health evaluation. So even though every individual section has me in the excellent health category, overall I came out with a very bad score due to BMI and waist measurement. I know both are improving and affordable health insurance was one of my motivating factors but really hated seeing that low score. I've been reasonably content with my weight loss rate of @6 lbs/month, but a little discouraging to see after 9 months of effort that insurance could still be a problem if my job is eliminated this month.

Will just keep on working my plan and keeping my fingers crossed that job is secure until I reach "normal" BMI, which is the number insurance companies are using in setting rate.

Does anyone else worry about affording health insurance while obese?
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:33 AM   #2
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I had to get self-employed health insurance some years ago--before I lost weight. I wasn't even at my highest weight. I ended up being charged 25% more on my premium because of "build."

After I had lost weight and kept it off for a year, I applied to have the "build" rider removed. I sent in doctor records of my weight loss and maintenance. And the company removed the rider! It has been saving me over $100 a MONTH in premium.

btw, I haven't gotten into the "normal" BMI category--evidently "overweight" was enough, within (I guess) a certain range.

Jay
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:14 PM   #3
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I find it very frustrating that there is so much reliance on BMI, which was originally created to reflect population-based statistics, and which does not necessarily accurately reflect the health and fitness of an individual person. But whether it's BMI or a height/weight chart, insurance companies will use something to make these arbitrary cut offs.

Fingers crossed that your job stays secure for you and you don't need to worry about this!
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:16 PM   #4
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Yeah, the insurance companies use height v weight as a general predictive indicator of claims. The underwriting isn't even about you personally at all, it's about what the insurance company's entire book of business does. If they have 85% of people with a BMI over 40 incur an additional $5,000 in claims/year - you will pay a portion of that $5,000 in extra premium if you have a BMI of 40+ - or they may deny you coverage because they can't confidently quantify your risk. That happens a lot in obesity situations. (I am using 40 as an arbitrary cut-off # - the actual number and claims statistics vary from carrier to carrier.)

I have seen statistics on obesity that are alarming. In our 20s and 30s we don't have many more claims than our thin equivalents. But once we get into our 40s, 50s or 60s, the claims shoot the roof. The reason is that obesity can cause diabetes, heart disease and make cancers harder to find at earlier stages. Those types of claims are very expensive in our current system.
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There's no ticker here because I have no idea what I weigh, nor do I have plans to get on the scale anytime soon. My goals are to take care of myself in healthy ways and let the scale fall wherever it will. "It's not about skinny anymore - it's about healthy."
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:49 PM   #5
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Yep, I just crossed over to 50 so I knew the potential for affordable independent health insurance was getting "ifier". I already had the experience of being turned down for disability insurance at age 40 because of my weight.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:19 PM   #6
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Wow! This is an eye-opener for me. I get my insurance through work, so I've never had to worry about this-- but I had no idea that people with higher BMIs are paying higher premiums.

It IS frustrating given that you've made to many positive changes and lost so much weight already!!!

But you are getting closer to that normal BMI every day!!!
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:03 AM   #7
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I understand your frustration but so commend your determination to keep going!
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:09 AM   #8
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I was once refused health insurance because of my BMI. Talk about kicking someone when they're down.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:21 AM   #9
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My sister keeps getting turned down for health insurance due to her BMI. She can get coverage for other companies with no health screenings but the premiums are outrageous. Then she got diagnosed with PCOS and now insurance companies don't want to touch her with a 10 foot pole. The whole thing seems unfair to me.
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