Prevention: The Rx to offset spirling health care costs
Health insurance premiums will increase by an average of 9.4 percent for Colorado businesses in 2012, projects Lockton Benefit Group. That’s on top of more than $7 billion Colorado companies spent on health care premiums in 2010, according to the Colorado Division of Insurance.
Setting premiums aside, Colorado businesses also pay a hidden price for poor health. A study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion found that obese employees are about 75 percent more likely to experience high rates of absenteeism than healthy-weight employees.
Though Colorado is often cited as the “leanest” state in the nation, rising obesity rates weigh heavily on our economy. According to one study, Colorado spent $1.6 billion on obesity in 2009. The study takes into account medical expenses, sick days and health-related productivity costs associated with obesity. Meanwhile, results from the 2011 Colorado Health Report Card show that Colorado’s obesity rate rose from 19 percent to 22 percent in one year –
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