Looking at the Legality of Mandating Insurance Companies
These days there are more and more adults that suffer from chronic diseases such as heart diseases, stroke, diabetes and cancer. In the state of Florida for example there were reported increased in incidences of deaths due to these kinds of chronic diseases. The increase of this incidence could be blame for the poor eating habits and people’s lack of physical exercise and a sedentary lifestyle. Poor eating habits resulted into high cholesterol intake, high calorie diet which later turned into obesity. Alcohol and cigarette smoking has considerable effect to one’s health also. Adults need to have physical exercise to help them burn fats and strengthen their cardiovascular system and allow good blood circulation. The proposed solution to this problem is to legally mandate insurance companies to provide for monthly reimbursement of gym membership to promote physical activity and reimbursement also for visits to a nutritionist per calendar year to promote healthy and nutritious diet.
Existing Relevant Legislation
The state of Florida has created legislation found in Fla. Stat. § 627.6489 (2003) that state that the Florida Comprehensive Health Organization can have agreement with insurers to provide disease management services to people.
In California, the Cal. Health and Safety Code § 104141 et seq. (2004) have created the Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention and Treatment Task Force included in the Department of Health Services to execute action related to cardiovascular and stroke prevention.
In New Hampshire, N.H. Laws, Chap. 420-G:4-a (2003) allows health insurers in the small group and individual markets to discount the premium rate for health benefits plan that include financial incentives for covered persons that will voluntarily participate in Wellness and Disease Management Programs.
Impact to Legal Laws
The proposal will have a significant effect to legal laws as it will mandate insurance companies to provide the amount needed by a certain individual for him to regularly have physical exercise and nutritional checkup with a nutritionist. It will help government agencies to enforce health insurance providers to show full support for the proposed solution.
Legality of the Proposed Solution
In other states in the US there are similar Chronic Disease Prevention Programs that request insurance companies to provide comprehensive health assistance for their adults to be able to acquire gym membership. Adults need to lessen their inactivity and get into a habit of physical exercise was the main goal of these programs. Since many cannot afford to have their own gym equipment it is easier for them to enroll in a gym with complete facilities to make them physically fit. A visit to nutritionist will surely help them to monitor their diet and also to promote healthy eating habits by eating foods that are nutritious, rich in fiber while avoiding high in sodium, unsaturated fats, cholesterols and calories in foods.
Regulatory Government Agencies and the Proposed Solution
Florida Department of Health, Florida Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention, American Heart Association, Governors’ Commission on Physical Fitness and Health Insurance Providers are just some of the government agencies that will be the target of the proposed solution.
Agencies and Organizations Responsible for the Proposed Solution
The agencies or organization included are the Florida CVH Committee, Florida Area Health Education Center, Physical Activity Council, Department of Health Employee Wellness Committee, Florida Partnership for Promoting Physical Activity and Healthful Nutrition (FPPPAHN) were among other agencies that will be held responsible to promote and support the campaign for a healthy lifestyle among the adults.
“50 State Summary of Disease Management Laws” (2008) National Conference of State Legislatures the Forum for Americas Ideas. Retrieved August 29, 2008 from http;//www.ncsl.org
“Florida Bureau of Chronic Disease Prevention” Retrieved August 29, 2008 from http://www.chronicdisease.org/files
“Overview of the Comprehensive Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program” (2007) FloridasHealth.com. Retrieved August 28, 2008 from http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Family/Heart
“The 2008 Florida Statutes” Online Sunshine. Retrieved August 29, 2008 from http://www.leg.state.fl.us
Yee, S. L., MA, MPH, Williams-Piehota, P., PhD, Sorensen, A., MA., Roussel, A. PhD, Hersey, J. PhD & Hamre, R. MPH, RD, “The Nutrition and Physical Activity Program to Prevent Obesity and other Chronic Diseases: Monitoring Progress in Funded States” (2006). Preventing Chronic Disease, Public Health Research Practice and Policy. Retrieved August 28, 2008, from http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov