(WSJ 1997) Type of plan by all employees with health benefits.
1993 1997
Traditional fee for service 48% 15%
Preferred Provider Organization (least restrictive) 27 35
Point of Service (moderately restrictive) 7 20
Health Maintenance Organization (most restrictive) 19 30

Due to the change over to HMO's, the medical cost of living was only 0.2% in 1997 for both active and retired employees.

Average cost for employer in 1996- $3,915/employee

In 1997- $3,924.

MEDICAL INSURANCE PREMIUM DEDUCTION: If you are self employed, the government lets you deduct part of your premiums. For 1998-1999, it's 45%; 2000-2001, 50%; 2002, 60%; 2003-2005, 80 %; 2006, 90% and 2007+- 100%.

HEALTH CLAIMS: 1998 (Parade magazine) There's about a 7 year difference in the life times between men and women. So why do men die sooner ?

Nine out of ten on the job fatalities happen to men

Five out of seven victims of a traffic accidents are men. Four out of five homicide victims are men. At least 80 percent of suicides are men. Nine out of ten HIV related deaths are men.

Women see a doctor about four times more than men. They go to the hospital more often and take more prescription medicine. Women spend 35% more days confined to bed. 50% of women will develop cancer, versus about 33% for men. Women have more auto immune disease, strokes and clinical depression .

Racial differences: Blacks die twice as often from strokes as to whites. Blacks and Hispanics get twice as much tuberculosis as whites. Hispanics get diabetes twice as often as whites.

EAT THIS!!: (Reuters 1999) The Agriculture Department said Women generally eat healthier diets than men and senior citizens and vegetarians generally eat the healthiest diets of all. The major reason was that "individuals in those groups tend to be better informed about nutrition and the link between poor diet and certain diseases." The "Healthy Eating Index", developed by the department's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion measured how closely an individual's diet conforms with the dietary guidelines. Whites had a score of 64.78, compared to 59.66 for Blacks, But the difference between Hispanics, 64.04, and non-Hispanics, 64.11, was only slight.

Individuals with advanced education scored 66.67, compared to 62.97 for high school graduates and 62.57 for those who did not finish high school.

Vegetarians scored 67.21 - the second highest of any group- compared to 63.95 for non-vegetarians. Women outscored men on the healthy eating index by 64.79 to 60.59.

Non-vegetarians were slightly better informed than vegetarians about the link between diet and certain diseases, but generally knew less about nutrition.

So why the comment under finances? Because if you live better, you tend to live cheaper since you are not spending so much on medical bills. Toss in the commentary below on exercise and you will really see some major difference in the later years of life.

Health: A study of the elderly in the United States conducted by the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention revealed improvements in their health status. Nonetheless, 46 percent of Americans over the age of 74 reported never engaging in physical activity and only about 40 percent ate the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables.

Source: CDC (15 Dec 1999):

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