It turns out that our health plans are trying to warn us about health risks,…
It turns out that our health plans are trying to warn us about health risks, but we’re not opening the messages.
According to HealthMine – an “early detection system” for health plans — 75% of U.S. employees believe their health plan has never alerted them to a health risk, even when it has.
This finding of the HealthMine 2018 Rising Risk Survey underscores the challenges health plans face when educating members about potential health risks and motivating them to take action to prevent becoming ill.
“When a person is identified as having a health risk, it doesn’t mean they will definitely get sick,” said Bryce Williams, president and CEO of HealthMine. “However, it’s well known that 86% of the nation’s $2.7 trillion in annual health care costs are for people with chronic conditions.”
Williams adds that, at any moment in time, about 20% of any defined population are likely to have multiple risk factors that can push them into the high-cost category if the risks are not addressed. And while people can’t change all the attributes that determine a health risk—age, family history, or genetics—there are many things they can change.
Examples include diet, physical activity, sleep, and habits such as smoking or alcohol consumption.
Maybe the problem is that people are aware of the health risks they’re taking, but would rather ignore them than face up to the lifestyle changes required?