THE BUSINESS OF WELLNESS: THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY’S RESPONSE TO PUBLIC HEALTH CAMPAIGNS, 1960-1990

Christiane Diehl-Taylor, George Green

Abstract


This paper examines the health insurance industry’s response to the welliness movement between 1960 and 1990. Based primarily on insurance and personnel management trade publications, it argues that the health insurance industry cautiously joined the weliness campaigns of the 70s and 80s despite its on-going reservations regarding the actuarial basis for rate differentials. The industry’s business-like conservatism was overcome by its recognition of wellness promotion as a cost-control measure, public relations tool, and means to stave off the threat of further governmental oversight and regulation.

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