We offer annual wellness visits to all patients, including patients covered by Medicare. During an annual wellness visit, you’ll have an in-depth discussion with your doctor about your health, medical treatments, and preventative steps you can take to stay healthy.
What Is An Annual Wellness Visit?
An annual wellness visit is a meeting you have with your doctor to talk about anything and everything related to your health. During a wellness visit, you can discuss existing health conditions, how to prevent and reduce your risk for other health conditions, and whether you may benefit from new or different treatments. You can also discuss any new symptoms you may be experiencing, ensure you are up to date on vaccinations, and ask about any screenings for various diseases and chronic conditions.
An annual wellness visit is not the same as a yearly physical exam, but rather a well-rounded discussion with your doctor about your health and disease risk factors. Some doctors may include certain aspects of a physical exam in an annual wellness visit, such as checking vital signs, including blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rate, weight, height, body mass index, and blood sugar levels.
What Is An Annual Wellness Women Visit?
An annual wellness women’s exam is where women meet with their doctors to discuss health concerns that affect females. This may include discussing screenings and risk factors for cancers of the breasts, ovaries, and cervix, and available options for birth control and hormone replacement therapy. Women aged 65 years and older may talk to their doctors about osteoporosis screening, risk factors, and prevention.
What Is An Annual Wellness Visit Like For Men?
At an annual wellness visit for men, you can expect to discuss health concerns that are specific to males such as prostate cancer, colon cancer, and heart disease. Men can also talk to their doctors about testosterone replacement therapy and get recommendations on screenings for male-specific cancers.
Why Do I Need An Annual Wellness Visit?
An annual wellness visit can help you reduce your risk for chronic diseases and health conditions, including those that may run in your family. Your doctor can also recommend important health screenings, review your current medications, and talk to you about the latest treatments and medical findings. An annual wellness visit can keep you informed about your health and about preventative steps you can take to stay healthy and ward off illness and disease.
What Happens During An Annual Wellness Visit?
During an annual wellness visit, your doctor will review your personal and family medical history, current medications, and vaccination records to determine whether you need any new shots or boosters. Your doctor will also discuss and recommend when you should have screenings for vision, hearing, and cancer, and ask you about your diet, physical activity level, and overall lifestyle. Your doctor may ask you about any health concerns you may have, such as whether you have new symptoms or are satisfied with your current medications and treatment regimen.
Does Medicare Cover An Annual Wellness Visit?
Annual wellness visits are covered under Medicare Part B if you have had this plan for 12 months or longer. If you meet this criterion, you can visit your doctor for an annual wellness visit once every 12 months. Medicare will cover this visit at 100% of the Medicare-approved amount given you receive this service from a participating healthcare provider. You will not be obligated to pay a copayment, coinsurance, or a deductible.
What Is Covered Under Medicare Annual Wellness Visit?
An annual wellness visit covered under Medicare includes the following services:
- Review of personal and family medical history
- Review of current medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements
- Review of all current medical providers and suppliers of medical equipment and medications
- Review and discussion of eligibility for Medicare-covered preventive services
- Check of height, weight, and vitals, including blood pressure and cholesterol
- Health risk assessment
- Safety assessment, such as the risk of falling
- Assessment of ability to perform essential activities such as bathing and dressing
- Hearing screening
- Depression screening
- Cognitive screening for dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease
- Health advice and education related to healthy lifestyle behaviors, including exercise, nutrition, and weight loss
- Preventive counseling to reduce disease risk factors
- Questionnaire that asks you about injuries, behavioral risks, and urgent health needs
Is the Medicare Annual Visit Mandatory?
An annual wellness visit is not mandatory if you have Medicare, and you will not be penalized or lose your benefits if you choose not to attend these yearly visits. However, annual wellness visits may help you save money related to future potential medical visits, as they can screen you and help you reduce your risk for serious, chronic diseases that often require long-term treatment.
How To Prepare For An Annual Wellness Exam
Bring a list of the medications you are currently taking, along with the names and brands of vitamins, nutritional supplements, herbs, and over-the-counter medicines. Also, bring a list of all the healthcare providers you are currently seeing, including specialists such as chiropractors and acupuncturists. Lastly, bring a list of all health-related concerns and questions you want to ask your doctor.
What Happens After my Annual Wellness Exam?
Given how an annual wellness visit is more of a health discussion than an in-depth physical examination, you will not likely undergo any testing or screening that requires you to wait for results. However, your doctor may recommend that you return for cancer screenings or another appointment if you want to specifically address one or more health conditions, or change your current treatment regimen.