One positive of Obamacare is the possibility of insurance premium discounts between 30 and 50 percent for wellness programs. Keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure in the safe zone is smart whether you’re saving money on insurance oe just trying to be healthy.
Smoking cessation, weight loss and fitness programs have been a part of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) for years, and they help motivate employees to get and stay in shape. Log into the Internet, and it won’t be long until you get an ad or pop-up for the latest “secret” to losing weight. The real secret is there aren’t many new, innovative ways to drop those pounds, acquire six-pack abs and turn back the clock on sags and wrinkles.
Just when you think you’re stuck doing a hundred sit-ups and never eating another potato chip, something really new and exciting hits the market. Some of the most innovative healthcare products and services were discussed in a Forbes article, “Smart Fork Urges You To Eat Slowly And Other Unusual Weight Loss Tactics.” These new technologies or programs provide the little push to the unmotivated.
One “secret” to weight loss is to eat slowly and put your fork down between bites. The HAPIfork from HAPILABS is billed as the fork that will change your relationship with food forever. While you eat, the HAPIfork gathers data on how fast you are eating. Since most people aren’t aware of what they’re eating, let alone the speed at which they eat it, it’s a revelation once you plug the HAPIfork into your computer after a meal. The fork will even give you tips on how you can slow down.
Samoa Air has introduced what is termed, the “Flight of Shame.” Instead of charging more for excess baggage, they are charging airline ticket fares by passenger weight. Imagine strolling up to the ticket counter in a major airport and having your weight called out to the entire area, ending up with highest fare on the plane. Samoa Air hopes this tactic will draw attention to Samoa’s obesity problem. If it catches on, it could either keep people at home or running to the competitor’s counter for their next flight. Samoa Air is making weight matter.
Michelin North America used to reward its employees with cash incentives of up to $600 for completing health assessment surveys and wellness action plans. Now, taking a cue from one of Obamacare’s catch phrases, it’s “pay or play.” Employees now have to meet healthy standards for three of five health measurements—blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose and waist size. If they meet the baseline standards, they can get up to $1000 toward reducing annual insurance deductibles.
No doubt creative entrepreneurs will produce more heathcare gadgets to help an overweight, fast-food and sugar-addicted population get in shape. A HAPIspoon perhaps? Or a plate that shouts out the calories in your two pieces of stuffed-crust pizza with dipping sticks to the whole restaurant. Companies may pay more for wellness programs than hospital bills and prescriptions. The next “secret” to wellness is only an innovation away.
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