Interesting Information: November 5, 2015
The Annual Physical Exam and Losing Insurance
I lost my AARP Advantage plan this fall.
I’m not sure, but I’m wondering if it’s because I’ve not had a formal annual physical for about three years. I’ve seen my primary care doc, but not in a way that allows for the checking off of the “annual physical” box–which would carry a different fee structure.
The AARP Advantage Plan is serviced by United Health Care–a huge insurance company.
About six months ago, I began to get calls from United Health wanting me to have a nurse come to my home. I explained that I was really healthy and did not need a nurse. Then I got some computerized robo calls asking for the caretaker of Louisa Enright (my name was horribly mispronounced). I hung up on those. Then I got a notice that my insurance plan was not being renewed.
I don’t know if AARP has made changes, or if United Health Care dropped this plan with AARP, or if United Health Care just dropped me because I had not had an a formal physical they could recognize. The AARP representative seemed surprised when I called and said this plan was being dropped.
(I take good care of myself and am very conscious of my health and my body. And a year ago, I had blood tests and worked with a PhD nutritionist to fine tune minerals and vitamins.)
Maybe United Health believes that having people go to a yearly exam saves them money in the long run.
Maybe. Maybe not.
I feel like I am encouraged to do tests that are not good for my health or my body–like a mammogram, for instance. And, frankly, hospitals are not safe places these days. I have heard too many stories of people getting blood tests and walking away with some sort of infectious disease–some of which are not curable.
Here’s a conspiracy theory for you: is there a profitable connection between the insurance companies and all the tests that are run? I do know that insurance companies own hearing aid companies. Maybe they own testing companies in some way as well. Or, medical practices. I wish someone would do this research as it is beyond my capabilities.
Remember, too, that docs rely on tests like annual physicals as part of their paychecks. AND, many have financial relationships with testing companies. So, it’s a rigged system that the smart consumer needs to recognize as such.
More importantly, I really felt I was being bullied by the insurance company. I grew up in an era when you went to a doctor when you were sick. And that doctor knew you well enough to see if you needed additional tests, etc. There is a way that the health system in America is making people sicker and sicker, rather than curing them. The over prescription of drugs is an easy way to make you sick. Getting tests that involve radiation and smashed breast tissue is another. And the truth is in on mamographies: they do not catch fast-growing cancers and result in over-doctoring for no good reason and no improved outcome.
Anyway, Mercola has a recent post on the ins and outs of annual physicals–which includes tests that are probably useful.
I’ve gotten new insurance.
And United Health Care (which has plans of its own in Maine) has had the doctor’s office call personally to schedule an appointment–which happened just after I had gotten new insurance that would take place immediately.
I set a date because I am afraid that if I don’t I’ll lose the new insurance too.
I’ve been bullied into this action, and I am NOT HAPPY about it.
I’ll go and courtesy and get the annual physical block checked off. The doc will get her annual physical exam fee. The insurance company will be happy.
It’s a rigged system driven by money, not good health considerations.
We are no longer “the land of the free,” but are still “the brave” to try to manage our lives outside all the industry tyranny that has us by the throat.