Insurance….and Diabetes

I was pondering a new report by an insurance company (United Healthcare)  stating that, “DIABETES rate could reach 50% by 2020!”

As I read and thought about the article … I remembered a question that has been nagging me for some time.  Why are the insurance companies NOT more involved in promoting a low carb meal plan?

If the caption taken from their website is true…. they want to help people lead healthier lives…. Why don’t the insurance companies promote low carb primal / paleo? Why don’t the insurance companies…  DO SOMETHING to stop this rising tide of unhealthiness.   This post will be my thoughts as I work around this issue.


We know why the “medical industry” including the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) does not promote a low carb meal plan… that would be a reduction in business.

We know why Big Pharma and Big Agra businesses do not promote a low carb meal plan…. that would be a reduction in business.

A reduction in business for these “constituents” of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) … means a reduction in contributions so we know why the ADA does not promote a low carb meal plan… that would be a reduction in business.

But why do the insurance companies NOT promote a low carb meal plan? You would think a reduction in “pay outs” would be a good thing for them… right?

Let’s take a look. Keep in mind that I am NOT an insurance expert…but I know a little.  FEEL FREE TO enlighten me if I err.

What we know…

1) Insurance Companies do not like unplanned calamities…. they hate surprises.

If they can plan or roughly predict catastrophic occurrences… then they can bill for them and make a profit.  Insurance companies can also bill in the future for previous calamities.

2) With out calamities (and diabetes , heart attacks any major health problem is a calamity from a cost perspective)  there would be no need for insurance companies or there would at least  be a “reduced need” for insurance companies. We are concerned with health insurance so let’s look at this segment.

Insurance companies LOVE diabetes…  the diabetes epidemic  is progressing at a high yet predictable rate.  Insurance companies do not mind this, in fact they love it…why?

Insurance companies can determine the expected costs of diabetes per person and charge accordingly, tacking on a little extra for profit and for the unforeseen costs.  The main point?  Costs and payouts are MANAGEABLE.

When a diabetic is diagnosed (we’ll talk about Type 2) almost ALL are given the same regimen of drugs…..

  • diabetes (blood sugar) drug(s)
  • statins for cholesterol
  • hypertension drugs
  • slow and fast insulin

Additionally, we all know because we have seen it.  Diabetes treated with the High Carb American Diabetes Association’s diabetes diet means a slow decrease in health… will often lead to organ failure, amputations and early death. All high cost “events’ but again… all very predictable.

It is true that Insurance companies hate to pay out insurance claims….  but they can deal with that as long as the claims can be predicted within reasonable parameters.

No calamities… would mean, no need for insurance or at least a reduced need.

I have not been sick in 20 months … therefore I have NOT needed health insurance in 20 months. I may need it tomorrow… but for now I do not. I still have it… but I have not needed it….

AND I am in one of the highest AT RISK Groups there is….  a middle aged (soon to be senior) formerly OBESE DIABETIC!

Think of it this way…. Insurance companies probably do not sell  a lot of flood insurance to people that live on mountain tops…. while on the east coast or Missippi delta flood insurance rates are much higher per capita.

Insurance companies love diabetes because more and more people are becoming diabetics and the drug regimen can be planned and billed …. with an additional amount tacked on for profit margin.

3)  Lastly, we know that like all good businesses… you don’t want to offer just one product or product line… prudent diversity is key to longterm survival. Let’s look at United Health Care Group, the source of the report suggesting that by 2020, 50% of the US could be diabetic.

You can see from these screen shots that they have their reach into various areas of the “medical industry”.

These include private and public insurances, prescription plans, health care analytics etc.

Point being…  they are leveraged to take advantage of the obesity, diabetes epidemic….

So why do Insurance Companies NOT promote a low carb meal plan…. because we know it would  mean a reduction in business.

IF I AM WRONG please point me in the right direction.   I would welcome the opportunity to be enlightened by someone knowledgeable in the insurance industry.

Your thoughts?

Also check out this post on the ADA Money Trail.

Click here and here to find out what I eat and do to stay healthy.

4 thoughts on “Insurance….and Diabetes”

  1. Big Agra and Big Pharma predict the rising rates of diabetes. They rejoice. “We’re going to get even richer!” BA and BP call up Big Insurance, or BI. All 3 get together and have a talk. BI raises rates based on what BP and BA said to him. Talk about ‘share the wealth’. So BI sees the 2050 predictions and now has a gleam in his eye over rates based on what BA and BP told him. He can plan for those payouts NOW. So BI says to BP, “Hey, get BA to push more carby grain stuff and feaux-food, and you keep giving me those predictions. I can kick in some $, too, now, thanks to your advice.” And who pays for it? Us…

  2. We can look at the business aspect but there is also another aspect to observe here. The human aspect. The pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and all the powers that be, are very uncomfortable with the paleo and/or low carb lifestyle. The concept is so barbaric and foreign to them that it is easier to just leave it alone. Not only would they have to re-educate themselves on health matters, they would also have to begin hiring people with such knowledge. A dietician who supports AND understand this lifestyle would probably need to be re-trained. Doctors would also need to be re-trained and also work more with the homeopathic aspect of our health needs. Geeze, it’s like what I call the “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” syndrome. Also consider one more thing…supplements will be regulated by the FDA. Which leads to one last quote ” Be careful of what you ask for…you just might get it.”

    1. Increased education would need to take place for sure… but the cost for that would be a “drop in the bucket” when considering the BILLIONS in savings.

      I just think about the “safe driving” discounts. It could be as simple as incentivizing blood sugar control based on annual A1C’s. Although as we know, this does not tell the whole story but it is a start.

      Another easy way to “measure”…. ‘oh…you spent -0- $$$ last year… here’s your discount”.

      No additional learning…just creating market based incentives for responsible action.

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