Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Got Paid To Get A Flu Shot

I'm one of the lucky ones. I have a job that provides health care insurance, and, as we all know, there's a huge battle raging among the politicians over the issue of accessible and affordable health care. My health insurance company is now called Florida Blue, formerly Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida. Over the past five years, I have noticed subtle changes from year to year that have brought health care to be more about preventive care and less about healing you once you get sick. I think you'll agree that it's a lot cheaper to prevent a person from getting sick than to provide medical care, pharmaceutical drugs and, in some cases, hospitalization after they fall ill.

So, last October I received a notice from my health care provider that if I got a flu shot at Walgreen's or CVS Pharmacy I would receive a $25 Visa Debit Card to spend any way I like. I found that to be a darned good incentive for getting a flue shot! Shortly after receiving the notice I stopped off at Walgreen's and got that flu shot. It took every bit of 20 minutes from start to finish. I got the band-aid on my arm at the injection site and a heart sticker for my shirt! And, honestly? That was the last time I thought about it.

Until January, when I got my $25 Visa Debit Card in the mail! I've been carrying it around in my wallet and one day, soon, I'll be spending it. Probably on that beautiful pink Michael Kors bag I've been lusting after ...

Here we are at the end of May, and, one would think the flu season is over. But, it's not. 75% of the people in my office have been out with a bad-ass flu for the past week. I, on the other hand, feel fine. {Knock on wood!} The people who have been or are sick with flu-like symptoms did NOT get a flu shot. They pooh-poohed me when I shared the offer from our health care provider ~ they had each received the same thing in the mail. They pooh-poohed me again in January when I announced I'd received my $25 Visa Debit Card. I'm thinking they're not pooh-poohing me now as they lay suffering on their sofas with the flu, missing out on life.

I can hear you now, asking, "And, your point is?"

My point is, get the flu shot. The Center for Disease Control has a comprehensive web site with answers to any question you might have about flu shots here. And, the research to support the effectiveness of flu shots is voluminous! Flu shots prevent people from getting the flu. I ask you: who needs fever, body aches, chills and sweats, nausea and vomiting, and all the complications that can occur as a result of the flu? I won't mention the 3,300 to 49,000 deaths that occur each year in the United States, though. I wouldn't want to scare you. However, flu CAN cause complications that result in death, so, why not get a flu shot? If you don't have health insurance, they are offered free of charge at the beginning of the flu season (October) or for as little as $25. I've decided I'll get it even if I have to pay for it. I really do think it's cheaper in the long run. Don't you?

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