Patsy Porco

Physical Fitness for Free

In Humor on May 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I’m getting a physical examination on Thursday. My last one was a long time ago, way before my memory took a permanent vacation. I can’t remember where I’m going when I’m driving, so I’m not surprised that I can’t recall my last real physical. I remember my fake one, though.

It was about six years ago—when I applied for life insurance. The insurance company sent a guy over to our house with a bunch of medical testing equipment. Looking back, I can’t quite believe that I let a complete stranger into my house and then allowed him to extract blood from me. He could have been anyone—a DNA thief, a cat burglar (an unlucky one since we have a dog), or an insurance salesman.

He turned out to be legit, I think. I received a letter from the insurance company approving my application and supplying me with the results of my tests. Knowing insurance companies’ wily ways, I’m pretty sure they hired a real medical tester to weed out the high-risk applicants. Now, if a credit card company sent someone to my house for blood, I’d tell them that they had already tapped that stone, or turnip.

So, six years ago, I had my last physical, if you want to call it that. I did call it that, and even had the insurance company forward the results of my tests to my doctor. When my doctor raised his eyebrows at my unorthodox physical, I pretended not to notice. I just asked him to put the results in my permanent file. He said he would. Who knows if he did? He might not even be a real doctor.

My fake physical got me thinking, though. An enormous percentage of the U.S. population is lacking health insurance. I remember the times when I didn’t have health insurance; I lived in fear that I would develop a fatal illness or fungus nails, and that I wouldn’t know until it was too late. Death I could face. Not being able to wear sandals in the summer, however, would be tragic.

I needn’t have worried, though. I could have applied for life insurance. I would have gotten a free physical and peace of mind, to boot. Those insurance physicals are thorough; they even test for AIDS/HIV.

Of course, if I had gotten bad news, then the peace of mind benefit would have been out the window. But, at least I would have known where I stood. That’s not always a good thing (ignorance being bliss when it’s folly to be wise, and all), but at least I would have had the option to find out how I was—instead of imagining the worst.

And then, after my insurance physical, I could have gone over to the Red Cross and donated some more blood. They give you juice and cookies.

  1. Years ago, I had a gap in insurance between jobs. I was able to obtain hospitalization coverage, just to ensure I wouldn’t go completely broke if my husband or I got sick. I had to fill out forms and answer a bazillion questions. But nobody ever came by to look us over. Good thing.

  2. Wow, you were lucky. Although, they probably checked into your file at the MIB (Medical Insurance Bureau) to make sure you weren’t accident-prone. I was applying for life insurance, so maybe life insurers are stricter than hospital insurers.

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