45% American Adults Clueless About Their Annual Health Check-Up

Nearly half of insured American adults are unaware that they should have an annual medical check-up and are ignorant to the fact that their insurance covers the annual check-up and there is no cost out-of-pocket associated with it.

Nearly half of insured American adults are unaware that they should have an annual medical check-up, according to the results of a survey. They are even ignorant to the fact that their insurance covers the annual check-up and there is no cost out-of-pocket associated with it.

Cigna led the study by conducting a nationwide survey interviewing 1000 people. The participants were between the ages of 25 to 75 years. All had health insurance and were the decision makers of their family.

The results of the survey found that 80% adults do not know their body mass index (BMI), cholesterol, and triglycerides levels. Another shocking revelation was that less than half the Americans know that they can also discuss their dietary habits and exercise regime with their doctors as part of the annual check-up.

In fact, more Americans are up-to-date with their pets’ health issues. For example, 85% of pet owners know when their pet is due for a shot. A staggering 80% of the female Americans know the frequency of their manicure and pedicure appointments and an equal percentage of the males know the mileage between oil changes.

However, when it comes to health, 45% of Americans are clueless about the benefits of health insurance.

“Annual check-ups are critical to our personal health,” said Isaac Martinez, MD, utilization management medical director at Cigna. “However, many Americans forget they need an annual check-up and many of those who know, don’t go. That’s why we want people to ‘know, go, and take control’ when it comes to their health.”

The survey also found that just 50% of Americans know their blood pressure and more than 80% do not know that obesity and depression screening is part of their annual check-up.

In addition, the CDC reports that Americans use preventive services at only about half the recommended rate, despite insurance covering most of these costs.

The CDC preventive care data encourages more adults to be aware of the vaccinations and immunizations covered in the annual check-up. Insured adults are also encouraged to take this as an opportunity to discuss healthy eating, exercise and lifestyle habits with their health care providers. Currently, 33% say they visit their healthcare professionals—but only when a specific health problem arises.

Annual check-ups count as preventive care. It is the easiest way to help prevent illnesses and diseases, and to detect illnesses at an early stage. Making healthy lifestyle choices by discussing them with your healthcare provider increases the chances of better treatment. If every American takes preemptive action about his health, as many as 100,000 lives could be saved annually, according to the CDC.