Personal responsibility in healthcare insurance  JUN 17 2009

Taking a cue from auto insurance, Safeway has devised a healthcare insurance plan that emphasizes personal responsibility.

Safeway's plan capitalizes on two key insights gained in 2005. The first is that 70% of all health-care costs are the direct result of behavior. The second insight, which is well understood by the providers of health care, is that 74% of all costs are confined to four chronic conditions (cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity). Furthermore, 80% of cardiovascular disease and diabetes is preventable, 60% of cancers are preventable, and more than 90% of obesity is preventable.

The result is that Safeway's healthcare costs have held steady over the past four years while the costs at other American companies have increased almost 40%.

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