Don’t Forget to Get Your Annual Health Physical

Health insurance through the FEHB enables federal employees to get annual health physical exams and ensure their plan still meets their needs.

How do you select the best FEHB plan? The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is a good place to start. It has a comparison tool that allows you to compare up to three plans at once. OPM also recommends you make use of the FEHB brochures which are accessible as a feature of its comparison tool.

Another alternative to finding the best health care plan is to Consumers’ Checkbook. This is a nonprofit, independent, and unbiased digital and print information source. Some federal agencies provide access to their employees. If you are not fortunate to belong to one, then you can enroll for access. 

Checkbook has a video that explains how its comparison tool allows you to compare up to four plans at once. The video can be accessed on YouTube.

But an often-overlooked tool for selecting the best healthcare plan for Federal employees who are enrolled in an FEHB plan is their annual health physical. Annual health examinations are “baked” into the price of most FEHB plans.

Benefits of an Annual Health Physical Exam

The main purpose of a routine preventive exam is to detect any health issues you may have early on before they become serious and a lot harder to treat. Healthcare plans view annual examinations as a good investment because they reveal health issues that can be treated as soon as possible and usually with less cost. 

But not all of us are getting an annual health physical. To understand why view this online article at SingleCare.

Alexander Johnson believes you should have an annual physical. The AARP offered advice years ago in an online article that it may be okay not to do so in Is It OK to Skip Your Annual Physical?

The exam may identify the onset of a disease or a condition that may become a significant health issue in the future. Screening tests conducted during the annual physical therefore are preventive and can result in proper treatment to be taken.  

During your annual physical exam, your physician will check your vitals, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels for any unhealthy trends or abnormalities, as these can be indicators of heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses.

An Advantage for Federal Employees

But no matter how often you may believe it is important to get a health exam there is one advantage federal employees have that many other Americans do not.

Federal employees can change their Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) policy to leverage the information obtained in the most recent health physical. They can keep their existing health insurance or explore other health insurance policies.

Think about all your family members obtaining a health physical a few weeks before the FEHB’s annual open season. Screening tests and other information may disclose a powerful incentive to reassess whether the existing FEHB plan is the optimal plan based on the recent screening and other inputs from the health assessment. 

Annual physicals are an important tool to ensure you and your family have the best healthcare plan. The process may also help you decide to change the plan type that is appropriate for your healthcare needs or how much to set aside in your Flexible Sounding Account or Health Savings Account for the coming year.

About the Author

Francis Xavier (FX) Bergmeister retired from the USMC and the F.B.I. Consider following him on LinkedIn as he shares articles from others about retirement and other financial topics. He also provides retirement seminars thru Federal Career Experts.