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Pru Health - John C. Kirk

Mar. 6th, 2008

07:20 pm - Pru Health

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As I mentioned in January, I cancelled my gym membership so that I could re-join via Pru Health. I signed up with Pru last week, and received my welcome pack this morning; it all looks quite encouraging, particularly their "Vitality points" discount. The basic idea is that I can earn points for each healthy thing I do, and if I accumulate enough points during the year then I get a discount on the following year's premiums. In particular, if I go to the gym twice a week (to get cheap membership there), that would earn me 1000 points, which would give me a 50% discount next year.

The catch is that the discount is based on this year's premiums, so I may need to check the small print. Since I'm already on a 27% discount, does that mean that I save 50% of the full price (£48.52/month) or 50% of the 73% that I'm paying (£35.42/month)? I.e. would I wind up paying £24.26 or £30.81 per month? Still, if I get to save money on two separate memberships from the same activity (and get fitter in the process), that has to be a good thing.
Edit: I get the discount on the full price - more info in follow-up post.

There are a few other ways to earn vitality points, one of which is to fill out a "Personal Health Review" on their website. Unfortunately, I think they have a slight glitch in their system. When they asked me for my height and weight, I entered these in metric: 1.86m and 102kg. However, when I saw the summary at the end, it said:

Weight: 102kg
Height: 1.86ft
Body Mass Index (BMI): 16.5
Goal BMI: 20.0 - 25.0

I don't think many people would say that I'm too thin at the moment. It's possible that I chose the wrong option by mistake (although I don't think so), but even if I did then I'd expect their website to reject implausible values; 1.86 feet = 1'10", and Verne Troyer ("Mini Me") is 2'8", so I'd be surprised if there are any adults that short. Also, if I'm overweight at my height then reducing my height should increase my BMI. Doing the calculation myself, 57cm and 102kg means a BMI of 314!

Ah well, never mind. I've reported this to them, so hopefully they can investigate it and sort it out.

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[User Picture]
From:rileen
Date:March 7th, 2008 07:07 am (UTC)
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Well, there's some ft-m confusion going on there, but if it's your BMI you're after, it should be around 30 - there are lots of online BMI calculators, one Google search away.
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[User Picture]
From:johnckirk
Date:March 7th, 2008 10:53 am (UTC)
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Yes, absolutely; I know what my BMI is, but I'm concerned that they don't. Basically, I can earn these vitality points by reaching a target or sustaining it. In my case, that means that if I lose weight (and get into the healthy range), that's good; once I'm there, I need to stay there. However, if their website screws up the calculation, e.g. by thinking that I'm underweight when I'm actually overweight, that may affect the points, and that in turn affects how much I pay in my health insurance premiums next year. So, this isn't just nitpicking: their mistakes could cost me money.
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[User Picture]
From:rileen
Date:March 7th, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC)
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Yes, given that there's money involved, they should be more careful than that. Hope they give you some bonus vitality points for pointing this out :-)
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From:shuripentu
Date:March 7th, 2008 09:35 am (UTC)
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It looks like their BMI calculator has been coded by a lobotomised monkey.
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