Due to studies suggesting vegetarians have stronger immune systems and are 40% less likely to get cancer, as well as recent outbreaks of E.coli traced to a Vermont slaughterhouse, PETA is urging Blue Cross of Vermont to lower insurance rates for vegetarians, while increasing those for meat eaters.
To make the point, PETA’s Executive Director Tracy Reiman sent a letter to Bill Milnes Jr., president of Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Vermont.
“Given the latest news about the effects of E.coli on meat-eaters — and the mountain of evidence linking meat consumption to some of our nation’s deadliest diseases — this change will benefit Blue Cross Blue Shield’s bottom line while also helping to ensure that your policyholders don’t flat line,” Reiman wrote.
“By giving your policyholders a financial incentive to go vegetarian – and penalizing those whose meat-based diets fuel our nation’s worst health problems – Blue Cross Blue Shield can save millions of dollars in the long run as your members begin to require fewer cholesterol-lowering medications, chemotherapy treatments, and diabetes drugs,” the letter concluded.
But according to Kevin Goddard, vice president of external affairs for Blue Cross, it doesn’t appear they’ll be taking PETA’s suggestion any time soon.
“Under Vermont law, we would not be allowed to vary rates based on the dietary and nutritional habits of various members.” he said.
Along with a “guaranteed issue” law that requires insurers to offer coverage for all persons in the state, the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration web site also lists a “community rating,” which stops the companies from making a person pay more for their coverage because of age, location or health condition.