Do insurance companies “really” want us to be healthy?

You would think so, because they would have less claims to pay…but that’s not how the industry works…read on.

While reading an article written about a health insurance insider in the New York Times today, I was once again reminded of just how futile our collective industry-medicine-government efforts are in terms of solving our health care problem.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

Everyone in the Western world knows that the ever rising, unsustainable cost of health care is arguably our single biggest problem. Yet, no one in power hardly ever mentions health promotion. As Dr. T. Colin Campbell states in the new movie Forks over Knives, “if everyone ate primarily whole plants,  the cost of health care in the U.S. could be reduced by 70 to 80%.

So why don’t the insurance companies put more effort and money behind wellness, health promotion and disease prevention? Wouldn’t they save money on claims if people were healthier? The short answer is NO; the health insurance industry would be reduced by 80% to “accident only” insurance if everyone were vibrantly healthy. It’s all about risk; if there is no risk, there is no need to have insurance for it.

I am reminded here of an anecdote in one of Dr. John McDougall’s newsletters. After having success in reversing heart disease with his dietary intervention program (costing $5,000), he investigated the possibility of having his treatment program covered by the insurance companies. Rather than pay for a $50,000 procedure that was a temporary fix at best, why not spend 90% less and fix the problem for good? But the insurance companies turned him down. As explained by one agent, there are basically two reasons:

  1. Patient Involvement. “The patient has to modify behavior for the $5k treatment; but only has to lie down on the operating table for the $50k treatment.”
  2. The Health Care $$ Pie. “You don’t understand the business McDougall. We (the insurance companies) get a piece of the pie…and the bigger the pie, the more we get.”

We get a piece of the pie…and the bigger the pie, the more we get. That one statement explains just about everything you need to know about why our total “health care system” is in such a mess. It’s sobering to realize that with some 25 million people working in that system in the U.S., not a single one of those people has a financial incentive for patients to get healthy and avoid disease.

We get a piece of the pie -- the bigger the pie, the more we get. if everyone gets healthy, we're out of business. If there is no risk of disease, there is no need for insurance.

Think about that statement while reading about all the blah, blah, blah from the insider in the article below.

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

PS: Occasionally an unauthorized ad may appear beneath a blog post. It is controlled by WordPress (a totally free hosting service). I do not approve or personally benefit whatsoever from any ad that might ever appear on this site. I apologize and urge you to please disregard. 

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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1 Response to Do insurance companies “really” want us to be healthy?

  1. It’s funny how things can look one way on the surface and when you look a little closer it’s actually much different….
    I wish that people cared more about their own nutrition when it mattered, rather than trying to treat it with medication when it’s too late.

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