Why your health plan wants to send you to the gym

Many health plans provide a subsidy to members who join a health club. The idea is twofold: encourage existing members to become healthier and encourage people who already belong to gyms (and who therefore may be healthier) to enroll.

An article in the forthcoming JAMA (Prevalence and Cardiovascular Disease Correlates of Low Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Adolescents and Adults, December 21, 2005; 294:2981 [web link not yet available]) demonstrates that the level of fitness is relatively low in the US population and that poor fitness is correlated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease. So health plans are probably getting a good return on investment from this benefit.

December 20, 2005

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