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GRALLEN's Photo GRALLEN Posts: 20,067
9/11/08 9:43 P

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You are a braver woman than me. I could never do a job like that. I'm grateful to the people who can though so on that note, THANK YOU!

It definitely takes a strong personality to do it.

Gail

Quit stuffing your face and face your stuff.
Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
I think therefore I am dangerous.
Don't make excuses, make changes.

See my photos on Flickr.
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DAWNOPFER's Photo DAWNOPFER Posts: 3,597
9/11/08 9:37 P

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Blackheart- stressful?? LOL, uh, yep! Just giving you a hard time - yeah, it can get VERY stressful in here at times. I work in a county other than the one I reside in, which helps tremendously. Most of the time I do not know the people calling, so I'm able to stay more objective and keep emotions out of the comm center. Once in a while a case will get to you. My hardest one was a 911 call I took from a little girl, she with her brother and one friend, oldest aged 10, were home alone (we won't get into the fact that 3 kids 10 and under were left home alone on a friday night!), any how, the girl was calling from the closet that all the kids were hiding in while someone was trying to break into their house. You could hear it in the background, and the girls' screams were tearing me apart. And of course at the time I didn't think the deputies were getting there fast enough (looking back over the logs they were fast). And then to top it off, shift change came in the middle of the call, and during a shift change, you are not allowed to stay and finish out a call, so I had to go home without closure.

The corrections portion isn't too bad, it's a mind set. Just can't let them scare you. And I'm a mom of 3 adults and there isn't too much I can't handle :)

But the insurance is awesome. Just the prescription coverage saves me a bundle every year. We DON'T have dental or vision. But we keep hoping!

Dawn

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GRALLEN's Photo GRALLEN Posts: 20,067
9/11/08 8:02 P

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I truly had no idea government jobs offered the free health insurance.

Dawn, it sounds like you are kept pretty busy there. Is that kind of a stressful job?

Gail

Quit stuffing your face and face your stuff.
Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
I think therefore I am dangerous.
Don't make excuses, make changes.

See my photos on Flickr.
www.flickr.com/photos/blackheart904/

DAWNOPFER's Photo DAWNOPFER Posts: 3,597
9/11/08 7:27 P

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I have a gov't job, I'm a 911 dispatcher, county sheriff dispatch, and also corrections officer for same county. Our health insurance premiums are 100% paid by county, if I want to add family members, it is outrageous. So, I opt for just myself. Our deductible went up this year from $500 to $1500, however the county has decided to reimburse the $1,000 increase in deductible themselves.

Before working here, I was unable to obtain affordable health insurance at all. First I was denied based on weight. Later, I was told that as long as I was on meds, I would not be accepted. I tried going off meds, NOT A GOOD IDEA! (I take several mood altering drugs and have serious allergies)

If I lost this job, I don't know what I'd do.

Dawn

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LOEGAIRE's Photo LOEGAIRE Posts: 12,385
9/10/08 9:10 A

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Amen, sister.

Do not try and think outside the box. Instead, only try to realize the truth. There is no box.
***
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience usually comes from bad judgement.
***
Live each day as if it's your last, because one day you'll be right.
***
Stop whining and DO something!
***
I have no shift key and I must scream.


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ROYALETBONE's Photo ROYALETBONE SparkPoints: (46,176)
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9/10/08 1:14 A

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State/government employees always make a bit less than the prevailing market rates. The IT guys, human resource folks, customer service, etc, etc usually get about 10-25% less than the current wage market. It is made up in great benefits and pensions, and the knowledge that if you don't mess up, you have a job for life.
However- the working conditions can be a bit primitive in many government jobs- bad programs, lousy computers, and sometimes supervisors who have gone to sleep on the job.
I've had government work. On balance, it is less pay, but less stress.

Mare-

Direction, not perfection!

It's not a DIE-et- it's a LIVE-it!

I am a kind of pranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy. - JD Salinger



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GRALLEN's Photo GRALLEN Posts: 20,067
9/9/08 8:43 P

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I pay for my health insurance through my company. Not all of it but probably 10 or 15 percent of it. My company also offers health and exercise related programs for the employees to participate in. If we participate in the programs, we get a discount on the amount of insurance we pay for.

For example, let's say $50 is deducted from my paycheck for health insurance; I would get a $5 or $10 discount by participating in the health programs. I see no problem with this because I am trying to lose weight anyway and eat better for overall good health so this works out for me. One of the reasons my company does this is to reduce health insurance cost overall, across the board with ALL employees. If the company can get the employees healthier, they won't need as much medical attention and hopefully this can reduce overall health insurance cost for the company. If the company can reduce their cost in the health insurance as a whole, maybe weíll have less layoffs, better equipment made available to us, other benefits perhaps, etc.

It really sounds to me like an overall win win situation here. People are being encouraged to get healthier, thatís all. Insurance cost is astronomical, outrageous really. Quite frankly, the fact that these folks have had free insurance this whole time is surprising to me. I didnít think you could get free health insurance anywhere.

Every company I have ever worked for; Iíve had to pay something for the health insurance. Not 100%, but something.



Edited by: GRALLEN at: 9/10/2008 (07:43)
Gail

Quit stuffing your face and face your stuff.
Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
I think therefore I am dangerous.
Don't make excuses, make changes.

See my photos on Flickr.
www.flickr.com/photos/blackheart904/

CHLOIANNA's Photo CHLOIANNA SparkPoints: (44,984)
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9/9/08 11:26 A

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DDorn is right. We are stared at, made fun of, talked about, etc. If one made the same remarks about another group,he would be ostrasized. Ppl who are grossly obese need to be counselled by a health care provider. Many do not really understand all the ramifications of obesity or how to change.

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PROTOTD's Photo PROTOTD SparkPoints: (21,138)
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9/7/08 3:16 P

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Wow. I think comparing the state insurance board to Nazis is a bit harsh.

ALL employees will begin paying a monthly insurance premium. (How many Americans are required by their employer to contribute to their health insurance? How many of those people pay only $25? When I was employed, my premium for only my coverage was twice that per paycheck. When I had to go on COBRA, it cost me $745/month!) If you meet certain health criteria, you get a discount equal to that premium. You only have to show you are making the effort to be eligible. You don't have to lose half your body weight in a year. If you have health problems that prevent you from losing weight, the premium is waived. And there are other avenues by which employees can NOT have to pay the premium. It seems that one would really have to try (or not try, as the case may be) to actually wind up paying an insurance premium for insurance. Sure, it sucks to have to start paying for something that has been free, but it's not like there aren't provisions and options to explore.

Don't good drivers get similar discounts on their car insurance? Don't homeowners get discounts on their homeowner's policy for things like alarm systems and fire extinguishers? I did when I owned a home.
My question is, why is this portrayed so negatively when, if one takes the time to read the documentation, it is really a positive thing? I have done a lot of research on this since it was brought to my attention. I have looked at both local and national stories about this. EVERY report says this is a "penalty" for obese people, as opposed to a benefit to healthy people. The media is far to eager to portray an issue in a negative light because it creates controversy, which translates into dollars through increased viewers/readers.

~Wendy~

Abdicate: To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Proud Leader of Spark Birmingham- The Official Team since Feb. 15, 2008.

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DOWNEASTCAGUN's Photo DOWNEASTCAGUN Posts: 4,055
9/7/08 2:07 P

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I am with you, LISAFAZ ... if they charge for ONE type of risky behavior, they should charge for ALL risky behaviors ...
and voila, the MORAL police are born
(not morale - with an "e" - that means mood, but MORAL ... meaning people telling us how to LIVE)
helllloooo ... can you say NAZI?
or CHURCH?
ick

* "Take care. Take comfort. Take courage. Take control. Take JOY wherever you find it." (DEC)*
"Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck." - George Carlin


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LISAFAZ's Photo LISAFAZ Posts: 290
9/7/08 1:16 P

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So is there a surcharge for people who engage in sexually risky behavior? Or people who are supposed to take meds for a long-term health issue (high blood pressure, diabetes, mental illness) and chose not to? What about people who elect to have gastric bypass surgery? My sister in law had that and has had LOTS more expenses than I have.

Favorite student quotes:

"Ms. Faz, you're like a muffin! Just warm and sweet and full of love!"


"I'm such a good cook, they call me Chef-Boy-Ar-Davidson!"


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PROTOTD's Photo PROTOTD SparkPoints: (21,138)
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9/7/08 11:35 A

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I heard from my brother. The way the state has worded this that it is not a charge for obese employees, rather ALL employees will be paying for their insurance. However, if you meet certain health criteria, you are eligible for a discount that is equal to the charge. Here is what he sent me from the State Employee Insurance Board (SEIB):


Wellness Premium Discount Program

Effective January 1, 2010, all active employees will be assessed a $25 per month premium on single
coverage.

I. Premium Discount in Initial Year of Implementation
Effective January 1, 2010, all active employees will be eligible for a $25 per month wellness premium
discount off the single coverage provided the employee has submitted baseline readings for the following
health risk factors:
∑Blood pressure,
∑Cholesterol,
∑Glucose,
∑Body mass index.

These health risk factors may be provided to the SEIB through participation in the SEIB's worksite
wellness program or submission of a physician certification form no later than November 30, 2009.

II. Premium Discount in Subsequent Years
Effective January 1, 2011, employees can receive the wellness premium discount under one of the
following conditions:
1. employee has been deemed not at risk by the SEIB based on the reported health risk factors; or
2. employee has been deemed at risk by the SEIB based on the reported health risk factors and has;
a. submitted a statement from a physician* stating that:
i. employee has been counseled regarding the health risk factor(s), or
ii. employee has a medical condition that prevents him or her from improving the health
risk factor(s), or
b. participated and/or completed one of the SEIB approved wellness programs, or
c. reported acceptable improvement in the health risk factor(s).


At risk employees are eligible for a physician referral waiving the copay.


My brother (who is an intelligent man, a Mensa member, even!) thinks this is reasonable and fair. He is already participating in the wellness programs to try to qualify for the discount. Honestly, this is the first time I've heard the charge put this way, that healthy people get a discount as opposed to unhealthy people being penalized. I suppose both ways are relatively accurate depending on your point of view. I just find the "spin" that's been put on the entire situation very interesting.

~Wendy~

Abdicate: To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Proud Leader of Spark Birmingham- The Official Team since Feb. 15, 2008.

teams.sparkpeople.com/SparkBirm
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PROTOTD's Photo PROTOTD SparkPoints: (21,138)
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9/5/08 4:33 P

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There is already a $24 charge for employees who smoke. That will go up to $25 when the obesity charge is implemented. What I haven't heard is if that would mean a $50 charge for obese people who are overweight. I have yet to hear back from my brother to get the details, but it's my understanding that even though the insurance is free for the time being, it's not that great to begin with. I know he goes to a dentist 30 miles from where he lives because that was the closest that accepted the insurance. I'm really interested in this because he has so many health problems that have made it very difficult for him to lose weight. He couldn't even get two doctors to agree on gastric bypass, one felt he needed it for health reasons, the other said he wasn't healthy enough. So what are you gonna do? It all seems to be such a huge catch 22..

~Wendy~

Abdicate: To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Proud Leader of Spark Birmingham- The Official Team since Feb. 15, 2008.

teams.sparkpeople.com/SparkBirm
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MOUSEMARIE's Photo MOUSEMARIE SparkPoints: (38,811)
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9/5/08 1:25 P

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I do agree with most of hte comments about the inherent discrimination. HOWEVER, If the State wants to keep their costs down this way, then they have to add surcharges for equally 'risky' choices etc ... like smoking! Not sure what else you could count or figure out but if you gotta pay to be fat ... then i think you oughta pay to smoke too.

just my two cents.

P.S. call me Mouse, that's what all my friends call me!! Marie is my middle name.

You must remember this:
You're BRAVER than you believe,
and STRONGER than you seem,
and SMARTER than you think.
~Christopher Robin


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9/5/08 12:57 A

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Glad I found this thread. I live in Alabama and my brother works for the state managing one of the state parks. Yes, he is overweight (as is most of my family), by about 100 pounds or so. I'm going to have to ask him about this.

~Wendy~

Abdicate: To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Proud Leader of Spark Birmingham- The Official Team since Feb. 15, 2008.

teams.sparkpeople.com/SparkBirm
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ROYALETBONE's Photo ROYALETBONE SparkPoints: (46,176)
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9/4/08 7:22 P

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Cool discussion... but let's clarify that it is not 'no health ins', or you pay- but a $25. a month surcharge- or a $25 a month discount if you look at it another way.
And yes, this is borderline sensible- ALMOST makes sense- until you remember that weight per se does not equal disease, and that losing too fast DOES. This ALMOST makes sense, until you start wondering about ...hmm, do you control your diabeties? Eat white flour? Drink alchohol? Ride a motorycycle? Borderline makes sense. Penalties for being caught at McDonalds? Drinking pop?


Mare-

Direction, not perfection!

It's not a DIE-et- it's a LIVE-it!

I am a kind of pranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy. - JD Salinger



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DOCDRAGON's Photo DOCDRAGON SparkPoints: (5,943)
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9/4/08 6:38 P

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Obesity is the only thing I can think of for which it is accepatble to discriminate against someone. Heaven forbid you discriminate against someone's race, gender, sexual preferance, marital status, handicap, or religion! But if someone is fat, it is ok to...
1. Seat them as far from the salad bar as possible because you think they need the exercise
2. Give them smaller servings than you give "regular" people because you think you need to give them portion control
3. Treat them as if they are complete idiots (you must be fat because you are stupid)
4. Assume they would never understand something technical (you must be fat because you are stupid)
5. Make sure you stay at least 5 feet away from them (don't want to catch fat cooties, you know)
6. Tell them a ground floor apartment isn't available (when one is open) because you think they need the exercise of climbing stairs

I have experienced all of these things and more! It just pisses me off that it is ok to weight discriminate. We fat a$$es need to get together and fight for our right to be who we are.

Immagine if they charged extra for people with white skin because they are more prone to skin cancer?

What if they assumed you wouldn't understand something because you are divorced or black?

What if someone made sure they stayed 2 yards away from you because you were Baptist or a woman?

What if people kept bringing food over to your house because you are in a wheelchair (and they asssume that you cant't cook)?

For the love of Mike! This crap needs to stop with obese people too!


"Dear Buddha, I want a pony and a plastic rocket ship...." ~Captain Mal in the movie "Serenity"


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WOOLANDWOOD's Photo WOOLANDWOOD Posts: 1,658
9/4/08 4:42 P

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Posted in another thread ... something to consider Penn and Teller debunking the Obesity Epidemic .. Three parts all worth watching if the the term B&*! Sh*!
offends you.. you won't be able to get through to the good stuff.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvOzPwASCjc

Edited by: WOOLANDWOOD at: 9/4/2008 (16:41)
If only I may grow: firmer, simpler, quieter, warmer. ~ Dag Hammarskjold


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TLAIR0468's Photo TLAIR0468 Posts: 9,687
9/4/08 2:03 P

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I agree with LOEGAIRE about the incentive and reward program. My company offers a healthy lifestyles program and basically, if I meet a few very easy to meet guidelines (no smoking, exercising regularly, annual check up, attend safety meetings, etc) at the end of the year I get a $200 bonus. I do these things anyway, so it's just $$ in my pocket. They also pay the first $100 towards a gym membership and a weight loss program. They do this for me and my spouse.

Edited by: TLAIR0468 at: 9/4/2008 (14:01)
Tammy
Missouri

"Tenacity is the quality displayed by someone who just won't quit -- who keeps trying until they reach their goal. Anything really worth doing takes persistence, perseverance, and stubborn determination! I AM a Tenacious Jungle Tiger and these are my survival skills!!"

The best inspiration is not to outdo others, but to outdo ourselves.
~Nike Ad

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second.
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LOEGAIRE's Photo LOEGAIRE Posts: 12,385
9/4/08 9:53 A

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That's a really hard one. On the one hand, insurance can be denied or assessed a premium for voluntary risky behavior, like skydiving, motorcycling without a helmet, etc. But, how can you screen every individual to find out if their weight is just negligence or has a physical or mental cause? On the other hand, I think the BMI isn't all that great a measure of overall health. I've met plenty of skinny people who are sicklier than a lot of the technically obese people I know.

It's a VERY sticky question. I think an incentive and reward program would be better than a punishment approach.

Do not try and think outside the box. Instead, only try to realize the truth. There is no box.
***
Good judgement comes from experience. Experience usually comes from bad judgement.
***
Live each day as if it's your last, because one day you'll be right.
***
Stop whining and DO something!
***
I have no shift key and I must scream.


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JUSTCAT's Photo JUSTCAT SparkPoints: (19,221)
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9/4/08 9:52 A

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well a lot of big companies make people take a physical and if they are smokers or obese or whatever they choose, they won't insure them. it costs them too much.

Hara Hachi Bu--only eat until you are 80% full.


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CINDIDIT's Photo CINDIDIT Posts: 1,570
9/4/08 8:53 A

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Thats stupid. I cannot see that holding up in court. Discrimination.

Cindy


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DOWNEASTCAGUN's Photo DOWNEASTCAGUN Posts: 4,055
9/4/08 8:07 A

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In Alabama, if you work for thye state and are technically obese, you're going to have to start paying for your own health insurance. check it out ...

healthnews.ediets.com/2008/08/states
-o
besity-risk-lose-weight-or-lose.html


Discuss ....

* "Take care. Take comfort. Take courage. Take control. Take JOY wherever you find it." (DEC)*
"Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck." - George Carlin


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