I had a client who was just declined due to lab results on his insurance exam. This took us both by surprise since he had indicated that he had a physical just 6 months ago and his doctor had told him everything was fine.

Unfortunately, because he told me that that everything was fine I didn’t see a need to see the set of labs before we applied. Now “in retrospect” has hit us both in the rear. When I called today to tell him about the decline which was due to an elevated PSA and an elevated A1c, we had a chance to discuss those two issues and he remembered that the doctor did make mention of both of those, but dismissed them as irrelevant.

The doctor actually retested the PSA after he got an initial high reading and informed my client that the second reading was high also, but not high enough to worry about. An elevated PSA is indicative of either an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. I’m no doctor, but it seems to me that it might be a prudent exercise on behalf of the patient to do some testing and determine which of those two is increasing their PSA.

The elevated hbA1c was at 8.2, which means his average glucose levels are in the 180 range. He said his wife has type 2 diabetes and he has messed around checking his glucose occasionally and it is usually in the 120-130 range. So if his lows are around 120 and his average is around 180, there are plenty of 240+ levels happening in his life. His doctor’s take on the elevated A1c…..he really doesn’t believe in it!!!

My client, now armed with the labs from his insurance exam, is seeking a second opinion. We have some work to do before he will be ready to apply for life insurance again, but I suspect we’ll be back after it in six months to a year.

Bottom line. Learn to question things that don’t add up with your doctor. Like, “Doctor Smith, if you tested my PSA twice and it was out of the normal range both times, why is it that I shouldn’t worry about that? Can you show me some documentation telling me why that goes in the don’t worry column?” And, “Dr Smith, if you really don’t believe in the hbA1c test, why did you have it run?”

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