Patients Rush for Tests Before Losing Insurance

By Lita Beck
|  Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009  |  Updated 11:05 PM CDT
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Patients Rush for Tests Before Losing Insurance

Doctors say they are seeing more patients who want have screenings before they lose their insurance.

People worried about future layoffs are packing North Texas doctors offices to get tests done while they still have health insurance.

Dr. Jane Sadler, of Baylor Garland, said she is seeing more patients who want have screenings before they lose their insurance.

"So in some ways, it can be really good in preventative care," she said.

Take Katie Hoody, for example, who is undergoing extensive tests.

"I just wanted to have everything checked out to be sure that I was in good health before going off of the insurance," the healthy 33-year-old said.

Cindy Brown, of North Texas Vascular and Vericose Veins, said varicose vein treatments are also in high demand.

"People are coming in going, 'I don't want to get to this point, but my insurance runs out in three months, six months, two months," she said.

But doctors say there can be a downside to such screenings. Anything caught in the screenings will count as a pre-existing condition and could affect the price or eligibility of future health insurance.

Sadler said she is moving some patients to generic drugs, as well as encouraging healthy lifestyles.

She said some doctors are also discussing cash plans with some of their patients.

"Some medical offices do allow significant discounts for cash-pay patients, and I know that some of these discounts maybe 20, 30 percent," Sadler said.

With so many uncertainties, doctors say they recommend people control what they can and live healthy lives.

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