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Very few weeks slip by that I don’t take the opportunity to drive home the life insurance consequences of not following through with a doctor’s recommendation for a test or a follow up visit. These may seem like small things, but in the world of underwriting it is seen as being non compliant and is a sure way to get declined, or at least postponed until you break down and follow directions.

That happened to be point number 4 in an article I read today with what I thought was an amusing title, “6 Health Mistakes Smart People Make“. In their example they talk about a woman not following up on a pap smear that showed suspicious looking cells. Doctors, and you would think patients, want to rule out any chance of cervical cancer, but too often the followup testing is not done.

Whether the excuse is too busy, too expensive, or that you don’t agree with it, not completing prudent followup is dangerous to you and a death blow to any attempts to get life insurance. Whether it is going on cholesterol meds and not following up to see how it’s working or what impact the medication is having on liver functions, or someone who has had a basal cell carcinoma removed and doesn’t regularly see a dermatologist, not following through with medical advice can be a mortality risk you’ll wish you hadn’t taken.

Bottom line. All six suggestions are good, but I thought a bit strange that they would make it sound like smart people are supposed to somehow care more about their health. The truth is that doing all the right things when it comes to our well being is just not that common no matter the IQ. People don’t want to admit they have health issues and they don’t want to have to submit to a routine of checking up on themselves.