An article in the WSJ (subscription required) has a story by Ron Rapoport about a report by the Society of Actuaries saying Americans are living about two years longer today than 15 years ago. Whoa!
If you read the dire warnings by wellness/prevention vendors, you’d think Americans today would be dying early in record numbers from complications of obesity, high blood sugar, and other “chronic” conditions. Yet the opposite is happening. Hmm.
Writes Ron, “In its first revision of mortality assumptions since 2000, the Society of Actuaries estimated the average 65-year-old man today will live 86.6 years, up from the 84.6 it estimated a decade and a half ago. The average 65-year-old woman will live 88.8 years, up from 86.4.”
Before the wellness/prevention sellers take credit for this growth in life expectancy, one has to remember only a small minority of US citizens have worksite wellness/prevention. Excluded are the elderly, stay at home spouses, children, retirees, the self-employed, college students, the unemployed, military, disabled, casual workers, prison populations, illegal immigrants, the millions and millions of workers whose employers do not offer wellness at work, etc.
I’d guess only about 15% of people in America have workplace wellness, or about 50 million. The other 270 million or so don’t have it. Yet again life expectancy just keeps on getting longer and longer.
So despite the chronic disease “Sword of Damocles” hanging over all of our heads we’re living longer and longer. We might have been living even longer if wellness vendors weren’t making us worry so much.
__________________________________________________________________________ Tom Emerick is a consultant and co-author of the book Cracking Health Costs, an Amazon trade best seller. Tom is the President of Emerick Consulting and co-founder of EdisonHealth.