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Health Insurance Affected By Unusual Influences

May 21, 2008
When people take out health insurance, they are usually thinking about the bigger things. The times when you could be hospitalised with an operation or be facing the scary illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.

Not many people consider the fact that one day they may be susceptible to mental health issues but it is a fact that this can and does affect many of us every year.
Indeed, as many as one in four of us are expected to suffer mental health issues in our lifetimes. This can be anything from a mild, passing depression to debilitating conditions that can affect work life, home life and even life itself. Anxiety and depression are the biggest problems facing the British public and while many people can plod along with this via a short visit to the doctor.

But for a certain group of us, these conditions will lead to time off work and sometimes hospital stays and expensive treatment. Mental health issues know no class boundaries nor do they differentiate between sex, age, intelligence or wealth and the people you would least expect to see suffer, often do.

This is exactly what happened to a leading psychologist who recently died from anorexia. Contrary to popular belief, anorexia is a mental health problem. The physical thinness and emaciation of the patient is merely a physical manifestation of the problem and who better to understand that than the people who deal with mental health disorders?

It is usually assumed by health insurance companies, and the general public alike, that anorexia afflicts those that are young and insecure but this case proves that that is not always so. Many older women are being pressured into looking a certain way and some who don't even conform to that way of thinking sometimes develop anorexia as a way of controlling something, anything, in a chaotic life.

This leading academic was forty nine years old. She would have known the signals of a mental disorder such as this but still succumbed herself. A professor of education with a background in nursing, many of her colleagues were unaware she was suffering from this life threatening illness and unfortunately part of the illness is the way sufferers are able to cover up their actions.

Apart from the state of our mental health, health insurance companies would do well to consider where we live when deciding on premiums. Conjuring up images that hark back to the London smogs of the 1950's, traffic fumes in heavily built up areas are now said to be causing illnesses such as pneumonia which has brought about the deaths of 15,000 more people in the last year than the national average.

A link has been discovered between the deaths of pneumonia victims and exhaust fumes which lead us to understanding why the Asian residents here use masks to cover their mouths and noses when out walking.
Of course, there are many social issues that affect the onset of pneumonia such as smoking and drinking but this, as well as peptic ulcers, coronary and rheumatic heart disease and lung and stomach cancers are all linked to combustion emissions.

The smogs of London were said to have killed 4,000 people due to direct chemical injury and this is set to happen again unless emissions are cut. So, if pollution is causing problems that mean more payouts for health insurance, will premiums be higher if you live in town and lower if you live in the countryside?
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