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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181996ceb
Original Articles

Using a Personal Health Care Cost Calculator to Estimate Future Expenditures Based on Individual Health Risks

Bowen, Jennie D. MPH; Goetzel, Ron Z. PhD; Lenhart, Greg MS; Ozminkowski, Ronald J. PhD; Babamoto, Kenneth S. PharmD, MPH; Portale, Julia D. MBA, MPH

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Abstract

Objective: To describe the development and application of an innovative Health Improvement Cost Calculator tool designed to help individuals recognize the link between their current health risks, future medical costs, and productivity.

Methods: We describe how the Calculator was developed using data from studies that tie health care costs and productivity to population health risks, and how changes in risks are projected to reduce future spending for individual workers.

Results: Two simulations of the model illustrate how individuals may realize future economic costs or benefits depending on whether they maintain or change their health-risk profile.

Conclusions: The Calculator has the potential to be a powerful motivational tool for individuals, especially those heading toward retirement, who are looking to understand the relationships between their health risks, future medical spending, and impacts on productivity.

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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