Most medical insurance packages cover regular medical and dental check-ups for the people that they cover. Even though there’s nothing wrong at all with the person under insurance, the insurance company will still cover the cost of that person getting a check-up on a regular basis.
Why? It’s cheaper for them in the long run.
The purpose of a regular medical checkup is to discover potential health problems before they escalate to a crisis point and require serious medical care.
For example, if you go to the doctor each year and they discover on one visit that your blood pressure is a bit elevated, they can treat that elevated blood pressure with a simple dietary change or a mild medication. On the other hand, avoiding the doctor can result in a continuous elevation of that blood pressure, resulting in a heart attack or a stroke or some other crisis.
The same is true of many ailments. A routine blood work-up can find many severe illnesses in their earliest stages when they can be easily treated. If you skip that routine test, then that condition worsens and eventually requires much more severe and expensive treatment.
So, it makes complete sense for an insurance company to cover your regular medical checkups. Thus, for the same reasons, it makes sense for you to get the checkups, too.
From a purely financial standpoint, it’s much better to go to the doctor for an annual checkup (which is either free or has a small co-pay) and discover any illnesses early on than it is to skip that checkup and incur large expenses (due to major illnesses) later on. Unless your insurance is incredibly good and will remain so for a very long time, getting your annual check-up is a huge bargain.
The same is true when you look at time and energy. A healthy checkup takes you an hour once a year or so. A major medical condition devours countless hours and a great deal of energy.
It can also potentially take away your life.
Many people are afraid to go to the doctor. They don’t want to face the bad news that it might provide for them. However, going to the doctor now and finding that you have an easily-treatable condition is far better than waiting until the condition is dire and not easily treatable.
If your medical insurance covers it (and it probably does), schedule yourself a checkup if you haven’t had one in the past year. If everything is good, then you’ve got peace of mind. If something is found, you’re better off finding it now than finding it later on.
This post is part of a yearlong series called “365 Ways to Live Cheap (Revisited),” in which I’m revisiting the entries from my book “365 Ways to Live Cheap,” which is available at Amazon and at bookstores everywhere. Images courtesy of Brittany Lynne Photography, the proprietor of which is my “photography intern” for this project.