I’ve had health change surprises come out of nowhere before. I can still remember 30 years ago seeing the doctor for some innocuous thing and he did a blood workup. The result was a diagnosis of Raynauds disease.

I was in my late 20’s and felt pretty good. I was healthy and running several miles a day and feeling pretty bombproof and then I’m told I have a disease. Now, as far as diseases go I ended up with one that likely won’t kill me and the symptoms are well controlled with some pretty easy to digest medication, so it wasn’t a life changer.

I’m currently working with a life insurance client who is fit, exercises a lot, and has never had any health issues….then he took the exam for life insurance and we now know that, pending confirmation from his own doctor that his A1c really is 7.6, he is diabetic. This happens far more often than you would think it would, people finding out for the first time that they have some health issue because of the results of a life insurance exam.

I’ve discussed often in the past the obvious reason for this, something that is especially prevalent with men. Men are the worst when it comes to getting a physical, checking out their health by voluntarily having labs done, or for that matter even going to the doctor when they have symptoms that should be checked. Here in Salida, CO, well, Colorado in general we have community health fairs. A Denver TV station sponsors it, called the 9 Health Fair. For a very nominal cost every spring we can get a full blood workup. It’s been a life saver for many in our community who weren’t inclined to spend their time or money going to the doctor.

Among my life insurance clients over the years high cholesterol is probably the most frequent surprise, but we’ve not only helped people with health information they needed to know, but being leaders in impaired risk underwriting, we are able to guide them in the steps they need to take from the surprise to an approved life insurance policy. This happens with diabetes as described above, hepatitis that shows up in liver function tests and prostate cancer that is diagnosed after we find a high PSA.

Now, I’m not advocating applying for life insurance just for the free exam, but I am a big advocate of guys quitting acting like guys or women stopping acting like guys. When a client can look me in the face and tell me that they don’t have any health problems and they find out they have moderately out of control diabetes, it’s an eye opener.

Bottom line. It’s never fun spending money on preventive medicine or any health care at all for that matter, but if you like the way you feel and want to stay that way, go to your doctor or a health fair or if you insist on not paying for it, apply for life insurance.