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Insurance should pay for exercise programs, UF expert says

Orlando Sentinel, May 4, 2011

Health insurance companies should pay for exercise classes, which would in turn reduce healthcare costs, especially among high-risk groups, such as diabetics, says a University of Florida researcher. In an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Marco Pahor, MD, director of the University of Florida Institute on Aging, says health insurers--particularly federal programs such as Medicare--ought to pay for structured exercise classes because the health benefits and cost-savings outweigh the expense. "Cumulative work over the past few decades provides solid evidence for public policymakers to consider structured physical activity and exercise programs as worthy of insurance reimbursement," Pahor said.