One of our favorite kinds of services is health screening. You’d be surprised at what problems you can head off simply by monitoring your blood chemistry and having other inexpensive screenings done from time to time.
Preventative medicine of this nature has become more important than ever.
Frankly, in the Obamacare Era, only fools will refuse to take proactive steps to safeguard their own health interests. Consider just one wrinkle of what politicizing health care decisions means to you:
Thousands of U.S. doctors who are willing to face the wrath of federal regulators have formed a website (Docs4PatientCare.org) to host an open letter to patients. It notes that Section 1133 of the new Obamacare law “effectively makes [doctors] government employees and means that you and your doctor are no longer in charge of your health care decisions.”
Worse, when most Americans envision death, they think perhaps of old age or a tragic car accident. But the truth is that many causes of death can be prevented. The number one cause of death in America today is heart disease. Number two is cancer, and number three is a stroke.
We tend to think that if we have a heart problem coming, we’ll experience some symptom and go straight to the hospital. That’s very often not the case. In nearly 50% of cases of coronary heart disease, the first “symptom” is death.
Cancer is equally silent and deadly. By the time lung cancer is discovered by a chest x-ray, it is typically the size of an orange. The average survival rate for a lung cancer patient over 5 years is a dismal 14%. If this killer is caught earlier, such as when the cancer is the size of a piece of rice instead of an orange, your probability of survival is much, much better.
You Can’t Rely on Your Doctor
or Your Health Insurance Company
The actuarial tables on which health care insurance providers rely do not encourage preventative screenings for deadly diseases. This approach might work well for insurance company bean-counters and cash-strapped bureaucrats, but their frugality can be downright deadly for individuals who have ticking time bombs in their bodies and need to detect them early.
And while the federal government is slowly taking over healthcare, these valuable preventative screenings could just become another cost for Washington bureaucrats to minimize.
Your doctor most likely genuinely cares about your health and well-being. He or she can certainly offer you some tips and advice on avoiding deadly maladies. But ultimately, your doctor’s office doesn’t have the technology necessary to catch problems like cancer early enough.
Offered outside Your Doctor’s Office
Are an Effective Way to Head off Deadly Diseases
Whether your insurance covers it or not, we have long encouraged our subscribers to get a battery of preventative diagnostic tests. Often for $200 or less, such “baseline” tests can accurately predict things like your susceptibility to heart attack, and hardening of the arteries with completely non-invasive, non-painful scans. Insurance typically does not cover these tests, so dig into your pocket and invest the money.
While it will almost never pay for pre-emptive screenings, your insurance company will cover the required treatments if a condition is discovered.
These types of screening services weren’t as well known until after comedic actor John Ritter died suddenly in 2003 from a massive aneurism at the age of 54. (It turns out that even though he had a full body scan two years earlier which hinted at the presence of a congenital heart defect, he never followed up with a cardiologist as was recommended.)
These Services Will Enable You
to Establish a Useful “Medical Baseline”
and Monitor Your Health
So, let us share with you these three helpful companies we’ve identified. (Our founder, Lee Bellinger, actually hired the first one on this list for his own screening several years ago, and he and his doctor gained some useful very information.)
- Florida-based HealthFair USA (888-822-FAIR; www.healthfair.com) brings its services directly to corporations and individuals via mobile clinics. A comprehensive heart attack and stroke prevention screening costs just over $200 (a fraction of what a hospital would normally charge). HealthFair can boast of an accreditation by the prestigious Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
- Another option is HealthCheckUSA (800-929-2044; www.healthcheckusa.com). Like HealthFair, HealthCheckUSA allows individuals to receive, without a physician’s referral, low-cost screenings and blood tests for a variety of diseases. The company is affiliated with testing laboratories throughout all 50 states.
- Finally, Life Line Screening (800-449-2350; www.lifelinescreening.com) offers stroke/carotid artery, abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease, and osteoporosis screenings starting at $139 in mobile clinics traversing the continental U.S.
Don’t be a skinflint when it comes to paying for key medical diagnostics that insurance companies won’t cover. Heart disease and cancer are swift and deadly killers.
Pro Tip: When the results from these tests come back, take the entire package with you back to your physician next time you have a routine check-up. Establishing a broadly-based medical “baseline” of your overall health picture gives your doctor even more useful ways of analyzing your body’s functions as you get older.