Posted January 14, 2022 by Charles A. Zonfa, MD, FACOG | Chief Medical Office
Yearly wellness exams are an especially important tool to be proactive about your health. During these visits, you can discuss preventive care with your primary care provider, ask questions about current medications, address your health concerns and more.
With Medicare, these annual wellness exams are a free health benefit. It’s a great opportunity to ensure you’re on the right track toward living a healthy and active life.
If you have Medicare Part B for longer than 12 months, you’re eligible for a wellness exam once every 12 months to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health and risk factors. As long as your provider accepts Medicare there is no cost to you. However, if your primary care provider performs additional tests or services, you may owe a coinsurance or copayment. Ensure you understand all tests and services ordered and your responsibility financially. Be aware, however, it is not the same as a routine physical exam, which is not covered by Medicare.
The purpose of the wellness exam is to develop or update a personalized prevention plan.
As part of the visit, your provider will ask you to fill out a Health Risk Assessment questionnaire to evaluate your current health status, psychosocial risks, (depression, fatigue or pain), behavioral health (activity level, diet, smoking) and your ability to perform daily living tasks.
Your visit also may include:
Note: If cognitive impairment is suspected, Medicare will cover a separate visit for a more thorough exam of your cognitive function.
Preparing for your visit
It’s important to prepare for your annual wellness exam so your provider has a clear picture of your overall health and can better determine next steps.
Don’t delay in scheduling your Medicare annual wellness exam. It’s an important step in staying healthy and living a longer life.