Kaiser Permanente Annual Physical Exams
Kaiser Permanente California health insurance plans include one annual physical exam per member. Routine check-ups are one of the best ways Kaiser Permanente can assist you with your health goals. They are a good way to make sure things are running well under the surface. The routine visit is considered a preventive service, therefore, there is no charge associated with this visit.
What happens when you get your physical?
Your doctor will ask general information relating to topics such as the following:
- Lifestyle habits
- Work situation
- Stress level
Your physician will do a physical examination:
- Height, Weight, Blood Pressure, Pulse
- Ears, Nose, Throat, Neck
- Skin: Your doctor will check for overall skin health, circulation, new or changed moles, skin conditions, and signs of skin cancer.
- Abdominal check for size and position of vital organs
- Muscle reflexes
Additional Information Regarding Physicals
- Men will also have a prostate examination.
- Women are allowed two yearly routine preventive check-ups: an annual OB/GYN check-up and an annual physical exam. She may choose to have the visits combined or provided separately. If you have the visits combined, it is important to make it clear to the person scheduling your appointment exactly what you want to have happen at your appointment so that the doctor is given the necessary amount of time. Under normal circumstances, it is recommended that the visits be done separately so you can maximize on your plan benefits. For example, you can postpone your OB/GYN visit to a later date for other preventive reasons such as Family Planning.
- Although annual routine exams are free, it is possible to get charged. This can happen if during the visit, consultation or treatment is requested for a service that is outside the list of standard preventative care services.
- Depending on variables, such as your family history, age, etc., the doctor may request health screenings in addition to your physical exam. Following are some examples of health screenings that may be recommended on a routine basis:
- Colorectal cancer screening
- Diabetes screening
- Cholesterol screening
- For Women: pap smear, mammogram, thyroid screening and chlamydia screening
- For Men: prostate cancer screening.
I’m fine, why do I need an annual physical exam?
If you have a physical exam and all is well, then you’ve lessened any anxiety and gained extra peace of mind without losing money, since the visit is free. On the other hand, if a health problem is found, early detection can make a big difference. For example, if heart disease runs in your family, the doctor may monitor your cholesterol level through routine blood tests. If the results show that you have high cholesterol levels, then, you and the doctor can work together to make the necessary adjustments to prevent heart problems.
In addition, having annual physical exams gives your physician a chance to compare your current health status with previous medical records. This allows your doctor to develop baseline information so that he or she can establish your ‘normal’. If or when they find your health status deviating from your usual results, it enables them to treat the issue sooner rather than later.