Thursday, August 17, 2017
 

Check-Ups: Routine Maintenance For Your Body

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Check-Ups: Routine Maintenance For Your Body

With apologies to rapper Ice Cube, you better check yo self before you wreck yo self! And while I’m sure he wasn’t talking about getting regular health check-ups, his lyrics definitely apply. If you’re not getting a health check-up or screening, there may be a health issue that’s not immediately apparent, but could be easily detected and treated before it becomes a serious concern.

Most people only go to the doctor when there’s a problem, and that’s really a problem when it comes to maintaining one’s health. These may be the same people who get routine maintenance done on their car even if it’s not broken, get their furnace or air conditioner cleaned when it’s working perfectly, or even take their pet to the veterinarian on at least an annual basis for vaccinations and a thorough going-over. Yet when it comes to their own health, they won’t spend a single dollar or minute of time to go to the doctor for a regular check-up or health screening.

According to an article in Employee Benefit News titled, “Changing healthcare from healing the sick to maintaining the healthy,” about half of employees feel that their employers should help them stop unhealthy behaviors. However, that same article references that health savings accounts (HSAs) are being underutilized – especially by younger generations.

Companies with wellness programs in place are headed in the right direction, but that may not be enough. If employers notice that they’re not seeing any benefit or return from their wellness program in terms of health care claims by employees, they may want to step up their game.

Education may be a good first step to getting employees of all ages into the mindset that if they detect a health issue early, they can not only treat it sooner, but likely cheaper. If that’s not enough, the employer can also penalize or reward employees based on whether they get regular check-ups and health screenings. Money has a way of influencing behavior and these penalties and rewards can easily motivate employees. However, it’s important to know the federal and state laws concerning these incentivizing actions that employers can take.

Regardless of how far an employer is willing to push, the ultimate goal is to get an employee to think seriously about his or her health and what can be done to prevent a major illness or manage chronic conditions. This is simply better for the overall well-being of everyone involved.

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