King County, Washington (Seattle) has begun a Healthy Initiatives health plan for King County employees and/or their families. According to the Seattle Times, 90 per cent of the employees took the survey to see if he/she was going to pay more if he/she had an unhealthy lifestyle.
The article mentions that Brooke Bascom is now the chief spokeswoman for the health plan. The survey was 13 pages long and 44% were evaluated were judged to be high-risk, 5% were moderate risk, and 51% were low risk. Bascom was evaluated as an obese new mother. Being married to a doctor, Bascom had heard all the arguments for a healthier lifestyle. But when she was the results of the evaluation, she knew that she had to take action.
The same thing happened to me after I took the online weight measure sites that I recommend, such as the BMI measure at the Center for Disease Control, told me that I was obese. Seeing that word in black and white made me face the fact that I was endangering my health. Today, after losing 20 pounds since Feb. 2006, I am still overweight according to the BMI index. I will need to lose another 20 pounds to be normal.
In King County, to lower individual out-of-pocket costs, after taking the survey employees have to fill out an action plan to hit a best level of activity and health. About 90% of those who took the survey will be due to be on track by the July 31 deadline. To earn this highest level of achievement, employees have a personal health plan and have to contact health coaches three times before the deadline.
The Healthy Rewards program from Cigna Health also gives members the choices to use healthy alternatives to get and/or stay healthy. Medicare now pays for gym costs up to $30.00 monthly in its’ Silver Sneakers plan. I belong to this program and frequent a gym that has many Silver Sneaker enrollees. The good thing about using a gym after retirement is that you have time to go anytime you choose.