I spent my afternoon getting poked, pumped, measured and lectured. And I got $100 out of it.
How? I get my inexpensive health insurance through my work. It was easy to sign up, extremely affordable, and my company shouldered the cost of my monthly premium. (Yes, I pay nothing. Well, that in exchange for a higher salary I suppose.) And every year my health insurance company sponsors a Health You event. One employee and two interns spent the day in our conference room. They set up shop with a finger pricking station, measuring area for body weight, waist circumference and height and a place to measure other vitals. They encouraged employees to sign up for a free health screening, which took 20-30 minutes tops.
If a free health consultation wasn’t enough to lure you in, how about a cash incentive? Just for coming in, I received a $50 cash rebate. If I passed all of my tests (meaning I was considered “healthy”), then I got another $50. Seems like a pretty easy way to get a cool hundred smackers. The best part? My husband could come too. Yes, please.
Here is how my adventures played out.
In order to be eligible for the rebate, you had to take a blood glucose test. The test requires a small finger prick and a lot of squeezing for a blood sample. Glucose is just a fancy way of saying sugar, so they were testing my blood sugar. This test is important because it can look for signs of hypoglycemia (which I have) or even more serious, diabetes. In order for the test to be accurate it requires fasting for four hours. Yikes. Water was allowed.
I did my best, but I stumbled into the conference room a half hour before my appointment asking to get my test done early. Not only was I famished, I was starting to feel lightheaded. The results of my test? When fasting your sugar level should be below 100. Mine was at 62. Very low. After a quick bite to eat and a brownie, I went in for the rest of my testing.
The finger prick did more than just test my glucose levels. It also tested my cholesterol. I was also weighed, measure for my height and my BMI (body mass index) was calculated. Thankfully, I passed on all accounts. Hello, $50.
While I was ready to breeze out of there with my cash, I got a light lecture on being healthy and to keep up what I was doing. Then the physician let it slip that he was not able to pass very many people that day. Since I was one of the last appointments, that was saying a lot.
Why would a company give their employees time to get a health screening? The fact is adults in America as a whole are not getting healthy. In fact, it is getting worse. Companies are investing time in getting their employees healthy so they can perform better and live better lives outside of work.
Now that’s the kind of company I want to work for.