Toggle Health Problems and D

Companies and individuals will benefit from more vitamin D

Companies might gain money with vitamin D

  • Not have to hire a substitute (this only applies to those sick employees who job can actually be substituted)
  • cost of replacing a person due to major illness, death
  • cost of lost productivity (varies with how far up the management chain the employee is)
  • Small US employers must pay health insurance based on the health care needs of their actual employees
    • Thus they have an incentive to encourage preventive medicine

Individuals want to avoid sickness for a variety of reasons:

  • Especially hourly employees - who typically are not paid if they are too sick to come to work -= approx 30% of the population
  • Non-monetary reasons
    • Want to conserve sick leave to use vacation time or as sick leave time when family member gets sick
    • Not able to advance up the corporate ladder as quickly if take too much sick leave
    • Not want to miss deadlines or appointments
    • Might lose the job: Absences due to sick leave and decreased productivity due to being sick while on the job

Save $1346/year March 2009

Mass vitamin D supplementation would save about $1346 per year in healthcare costs per person in the U.S.,
or over $4000 a year for a family of three.

Costs to provide 3000 international units of daily supplemental vitamin D would be about $10/year per person.
http://lewrockwell.com/sardi/sardi111.html March 4 2009 issue of Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology.
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44 % underinsured or uninsured at some point in 2010


That has left nearly half the working-age population without enough protection from illness.
Altogether, 44% of U.S. adults were either uninsured or underinsured last year, according to the Commonwealth Fund.
The erosion in insurance coverage, which hit middle- and low-income Americans hardest, meant higher medical bills for U.S. families. The typical family of four with employer-based coverage saw its total monthly healthcare tab almost double between 1999 and 2009 — from $805 to $1,420 — researchers at the Rand Corp. found. Over the same period, total monthly income grew only 30%, barely keeping pace with inflation, which pushed up prices 29% over the decade.

NYT Oct 21, 2011

Among the largest employers, about 28 percent vary their premiums based on tobacco use.

However, companies may not want to improve retiree health

This caused the failure of my health information service in 1985
If retirees lived longer the companies would have to pay our more retirement benefits.
Would be interesting to see if the additional costs for retirement benefits would be compensated by reduced end-of-life costs for health retirees
That is, the squaring of the curve: health vs years. as following graphic shows
Vitamin D should reduce medical costs

Companies which have to pay for substitutes when an employee is sick

Bus drivers, teachers, pilots, ...
Got to wondering - would it be possible for companies to pay people to take vitamin D so as to decrease sick-leave
Assume that during the winter, in Northern regions, that the sick-leave rate which can be prevented by vitamin D is 0.5%
Assume that the per-day cost of a substitute is $200
Then break-even point would be to pay all employees would be $1/day - which might pay for the vitamin D, co-factors, and tests.

Cost of replacing a person who has left due to major sickness which could be prevented by vitamin D

Cost of replacing an employee varies a lot: from $1,000 to > $100,000 (It was $40,000 in Boeing at the time I left)
Wild guesses follow
Assume $50,000 to replace an employee
Assume that the number of employees leaving the company which could be prevented by vitamin D is 0.1% per year
Then the break-even point to give all employees vitamin D is 0.1% X $50,000 = $50/year
- which would pay for about 2,000 IU of vitamin D for all employees, but not co-factors, nor testing

Companies might start with the low-hanging fruit = giving vitamin D to:

  • Senior employees,
  • employees with dark skins,
  • Employees who are over-weight,
  • Employees who have already had vitamin D-related medical problems
  • On sick leave a lot in the winter, cancers, .....

Deductible costs are really going up

  • Example: Wal-Mart employee $1,000 ==> $5,000 deductible Oct 2011
  • Employees with high deductibles should be extremely interested in preventive medicine - such as vitamin D

Dental costs are sometimes not covered - especially retiree (such as myself)

Note: Vitamin D reduces Dental Problems All Dental Items 20 items as of Oct 2011

Must not forget health care costs of the unemployed

  • Unemployed but still probably paying Cobra health benefits (US)
  • Unemployed and perhaps not longer paying for Cobra health benefits
  • Little chance of employment
    welfare (apparently the additional health cost for a welfare person who has diabetes or obesity is $5,000 per year)

Must not forget the retiree who leaves the country (true for the US, how about others?)

Medicare is only available while in the US
Having to pay directly for health care is one of the main reasons that people do not retire outside of the country

Freakonomics on Costs of Obesity Oct 20, 2011

  • About 86% of full-time American workers are above normal weight or have at least one chronic condition
  • Chronic health conditions in this analysis include being overweight or obese;
    • having ever been diagnosed with a heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, asthma, or depression; and
    • recurring physical pain in the neck or back or knee or leg in the last 12 months.
  • from Gallop polls during 2011 made by calling 109,000 employees


Economic Impact of Obesity in the United States - 2010

$215 billion due to

Medical Costs
Presenteeism (less productive if sick on the job)
Premature mortality
Additional cost of health insurance for the obese
Total indirect costs
Transportation costs
Reduced education


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Insurance companies: pay out less but not have medical authority Blue Shield?
Companies: less sick leave - both employee and family members; keep important individual productive
company long term: lower premiums, less employee turn-over,
Individual - especially if no sick leave and or not health insurance; lose income for a while or perhaps forever

Types of medical concerns: short term - surgeries, etc vs. death and disability - which are the large $$ items for which groups
Hip fracture ==> lose independence, high cost of nursing home, etc.
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See also VitaminDWiki

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
828 Gallup-well-being-index.jpg Gallup admin 22 Oct, 2011 00:56 38.03 Kb 1662