Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 04/Aug/2004: "Healthier?"

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My health insurance is through my employer, so this doesn't really apply to me personally. Yet I found the headline interesting: Health bills cut for fitness fans. According to the report a UK health insurer will reward its customers with lower premiums if they stay fit. At first glance that sounds quite good. But when I read it more carefully I was quickly disappointed: This only applies if you become a member of a gym (actually, not any, only a specific chain) and the insurer then checks how often you went to the gym.

OK, this might encourage some couch potatoes to take up some sport, but what about the rest, what about people like me? I exercise regularly, try to eat healthy and can probably claim to be quite healthy. But I don't see the point of becoming member in a gym to keep fit: I just put on my running shoes and go out for a run several times a week. Followed by various exercises at home. I also walk to work (as well as walking home and back to work during my lunch break) when a lot of colleagues usually drive the same distance (It's a ten minute walk...). Probably more effective than going (well, driving probably...) to the gym once or twice a week.

From what I read in the report I wouldn't receive any of the benefits (including reduced premiums) though. Which makes me look at the whole scheme quite cynical and thinking this is just a ploy between the two companies to drum up business. Am I completely wrong with my assessment? Or could there be some truth in it?

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