As health insurance costs begin to rise, largely spurred on by increasing medical costs, many companies are looking for ways to mitigate the inflation. Researchers at the University of Florida are suggesting that companies should begin paying for exercise classes.
This initiative could help curb the costs associated with certain high risk groups, such as diabetics. Doctor Marco Pahor, Director of the university’s Institute on aging, led research regarding this concept.
Pahor and his team have been conducting this research for the past several decades. “There is solid evidence for public policymakers to consider structured exercise programs as worthy of insurance reimbursement,” he says. Essentially, such programs have a high potential of reducing costs which justifies their expense.
In this case, knowledge is power. Those suffering from chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, are faced with learning a huge amount of information regarding how to care for themselves. “The greatest benefits of exercise are achieved in those who are of high risk,” notes Pahor. A physical activity program can provide a much need support system to those struggling with chronic illness while giving them adequate motivation to make healthy changes to their lives.
Some insurance companies already provide such services. Researchers have found that these companies have experienced lower costs as policyholders became healthier. Furthermore, the policyholders too saw that their rates rose at a much slower pace.
Pahor insists that insurers incorporating physical activity programs is a cost-effective way to surmount a problem facing the industry today.