Bring on the spring! Your body is most active during this season which means it’s the best time to get a physical exam! Some experts say that because of the huge temperature difference from morning to night, it could be a trigger for high blood pressure, heart attack, and more.  More than half of those who have strokes due to high blood pressure occurred during early spring. With that being said, it’s recommended to get a health checkup—especially the elderly and those who are at high risk for high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol!

Did you know that under Obamacare, health checkups, wellness visits, and certain preventive care services are covered by your health insurance plan? This means that most of the services are free!

Make good use of your health insurance! Three steps in getting your free annual health checkup:

Preparation:

  • Make sure that your primary care physician (PCP) is in your contracted network
  • Make an appointment with your PCP
  • Request an annual health checkup list from your insurance broker or insurance company

See a doctor:

  • Bring your insurance card and the annual health checkup list
  • Tell your doctor that you only want to get a health checkup for the services that are included in the benefits of your health insurance plan
  • Don’t ask your doctor questions unrelated to the exams to avoid being charged extra costs

Blood test:

  • Confirm that the clinic is in the network
  • Bring your insurance card and authorization for  your blood test
  • Follow appropriate instructions before getting your blood test; generally, patients are told to not eat or drink 8 hours prior to your blood test. Consult your doctor for exact instructions.
When planning for a health checkup, it’s important to note that: 
  1. Each insurance company’s free annual health care services and benefits are different. For example, some insurers offer free breast mammography (x-ray) screenings for females each year, while others offer them only once every two years. Please check with your broker or insurance company or get a list of your health insurance statement that shows what your benefits are before making an appointment for your annual physical exam. KCAL Insurance clients can also contact us directly to check the list.
  2. Free preventive care services are different for different ages. Before age 50, the generic blood test, urine test, cholesterol test, height, weight, etc., are included in the free health check-ups. After age 50, you could get a colonoscopy screening once every ten years.
  3. Those who have HMO plans must go to their PCP to get their checkup. Those who have PPO plans should make sure that the clinic they want to go to is in their network to avoid unnecessary costs.
  4. If you’ve already gotten a health checkup this year, then you’ll have to wait another year to use the free annual checkup. For example, if you get a checkup in March 2015, you’d have to wait until March 2016 to use it again—regardless of whether you change insurance plans or insurance companies.
  5. Free annual health checkups are limited in what they can provide. If you ask the doctor for a more specific and detailed checkup, it will more likely cost more.