The rate of obesity in our country has grown drastically and it affects everyone.
Now under the U.S. health care reform law of 2010 employers are able charge obese workers 30 percent to 50 percent more for health insurance if they decline to participate in a qualified wellness program.
There are proven statics showing Obese people have more medical claims than non obese.
Obese men rack up an additional $1,152 a year in medical spending, especially for hospitalizations and prescription drugs, Cawley and Chad Meyerhoefer of Lehigh University reported in January in the Journal of Health Economics. Obese women account for an extra $3,613 a year. Using data from 9,852 men (average BMI: 28) and 13,837 women (average BMI: 27) ages 20 to 64, among whom 28 percent were obese, the researchers found even higher costs among the uninsured: annual medical spending for an obese person was $3,271 compared with $512 for the non-obese.
So now under the new health care laws employers do have an option to try to help employees address obesity. Obviously, telling someone they have to participate in a wellness program or pay 50% more in premium might not help with morale.