It is a simple fact that those in better health need less medical services than those in poor health do. Hence, individuals who are physically fit and in good health should pay less for their health insurance, for the simple reason that their medical needs will cost less.
If I am a non-smoker, non-drinker, who eats a healthy balanced diet and exercises several times each week, I can go for my annual physical with the expectation that I will be declared to be in good health and can come back next year. Of course a serious health problem can unexpectedly develop in someone who takes excellent care of their health, but this happens at a lower rate than with those who take little or no care of their health.
Think about it for a moment, why do we hear the message non-stop to lose weight, why are there exercise equipment and gym membership commercials everywhere? Why all the products and tequniques to help people quit smoking? Even the government is legislating how much salt can be in foods, and many schools have banned the selling of sugary soft drinks to students.
Everywhere there is a push for people to be healthier- eat better, exercise, stop bad habits, and get adequate rest. It is advantageous for everyone that more people be physically fit. Less obesity would reduce many health conditions that can result from obesity including heart failure, diabetes, and chronic joint pain. Those in poor physical health are often limited in what they can do.
The medical needs for individuals in poor health are many. Prescription drugs are frequently used, and in time surgery is often needed. Insurance companies have to pay thousands for each surgery and the recovery care, verses a minimal cost for annual checkups and routine screenings.
An accident can happen to anyone, suddenly changing your life. But even in this situation, usually the better health that someone was in before the accident, the better and faster their body is able to heal.
So, if I am doing all I reasonably can to be in good health, and a doctor verifies that I am indeed healthy, I and people like myself will cost insurance companies less than the same size group of unhealthy people. With most services, we pay for what we use and in proportion to our needs. Car insurance companies offer lower rates to drivers with a clean record who are a lower risk. Likewise those with the highest credit scores can get better credit card interestrates and better rates on loans. We work to achieve these things, but if we have worked hard to keep our health at its best, there is no monetary reward.
A practical way of doing this would be for the insurance company to require everyone to go for an annal physical to have a doctor verify that you are in relatively good health. If so, than the following year, your health insurance premiums would be lower. If a medical condition develops, than the rates could be raised the following year to cover your present health needs. But if your health improves again, then the rate would be lowered in the future.
Such a system not only would be more fair, but it would serve as an excellent incentive for people to do what they can to be more responsible about their health. Money talks, and if people knew they could save money by being in better health, more might choose healthier foods or go for a walk each day, resulting in improved health and more energy. This would be a true win-win situation for everyone.