If Only Health Insurance Worked Like Car Insurance

I viewed a recent Fox 44 News article with amusement.  The article touts a new program that allows people to pay less on car insurance in Vermont and New Hampshire.  The program is already available in New York.  Here is how it works: “Are you a safe driver?  Do you have a car you don’t drive that often?  If so, a new Progressive Insurance Policy could benefit you.  Starting Monday, Snapshot is available to customers in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Once you sign up, you’ll get sent a small device that plugs into the on-board diagnostic (OBD) port of your car.

That device tracks how much, and when you drive.

Within a month, you’ll find out if you’re eligible for a discount up to 30%.

Isn’t it amazing the lengths that insurance companies will go to provide its customers with affordable car insurance?  Why can’t they do the same thing with health insurance?  They probably would if not for government regulations like “community rating”.  This prevents insurance companies from offering lower rates to customers that represent lower risks.  The same principle used by car insurance companies to lower rates for it’s customers is not allowed to be applied to the health insurance industry.  Is it any wonder that health insurance cost so much?

Not only do such policies drive up the costs of health care, but they do nothing to encourage a healthy lifestyle the way some car insurance policies encourage safe driving habits.  One of the problems often identified as driving up health care costs is unhealthy habits.  Why on earth do our policy makers not allow approaches to health insurance that encourage healthy habits?