Background: The bivariate relationships between 18 health-related measures on a health appraisal and prospective medical claims costs were examined among 1,838 employees for three consecutive years.
Methods: Employees were classified into high- or low-risk categories for each of the 18 health-related measures, and divided into high- or low-cost categories according to their averaged three-year medical costs respective to the mean of their sex/age subgroup.
Results: Average annual medical costs for the 18 health-related measures were $67 to $778 higher for the employees classified at high risk. The high-cost category was statistically associated with high-risk status in 11 of 18 health-related measures with a high-cost/high-risk to high-cost/low-risk ratio of 1.26 to 2.50. The average annual medical claims costs were also significantly related to number of high-risk classifications.
Discussion: This study provides strong statistical evidence that, regardless of age and sex, employees in this sample with positive behaviors cost less in medical claims from 11 of 18 health-related measures.