Medicare’s Annual Wellness Visit is a free benefit to anyone enrolled in Medicare. It is a special visit where you and your care team can focus on your overall health, keeping you healthy, and preventing or detecting disease. You and your health care team will create a Personalized Prevention Plan that is clear, easy to follow and unique to you. The Plan will identify the steps you will take to stay healthy, active, and as independent as possible. Planning to stay healthy will help you:
- Lower your health care costs
- Learn how to make small changes in your lifestyle to keep you healthy
- Detect diseases early, before they become a problem
- Review your medical conditions and current list of medications, vitamins, and supplements
- Review preventive care you are entitled to, and see if you are up to date on your vaccines
Does Medicare pay for a routine annual physical exam?
No. Medicare does not pay for annual exams. Medicare pays for two kinds of well visits:
- “Welcome to Medicare” visit, a once in a lifetime visit during your first 12 months of Medicare Part B coverage
- Annual Wellness Visit each year after the first 12 months
The “Welcome to Medicare” visit and each yearly Annual Wellness Visit is covered by Medicare.
Is there a deductible or copay for the annual wellness visit?
No. There is no out of pocket cost for the Annual Wellness Visit. During your visit, you may receive added health care services that may require out of pocket costs.
What happens during the annual wellness visit?
Before or during your visit, you will be asked by your health care team to fill out a form called a Health Risk Assessment (HRA). The HRA helps your care team learn more about your overall health, lifestyle, comfort and medical history. During your Annual Wellness Visit, your health care team will:
- Talk about your personal medical history and your family’s medical history
- Give you a simple hearing test
- Talk about feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression
- Ask you questions about your lifestyle, daily routine, and memory
- Create a schedule to make sure you receive the preventive care you are entitled to
- Check your weight, height, blood pressure, and calculate your body mass index
- Create a Personalized Prevention Plan to address any health concerns you have
- Talk about who should make decisions about your healthcare if you become unable to speak for yourself (optional)
Will I see my doctor during my annual wellness visit?
During your visit, your care team will collect your information and perform any preventive care screenings you may need. Your doctor will be on-site to look at your results and may discuss any problems that are identified.
What if I need refills for my medications?
Your health care team will address your medication refills during an extended part of your visit or during a scheduled follow up visit. This additional treatment will be billed as an office visit and will have added costs.
What should I bring to my annual wellness visit?
- When you make your appointment, your health care team may ask you to bring:
- Names of all your health care clinicians and a list of any new problems that have been identified since your last visit.
- A list of all medications, including vitamins and supplements.
- A medical power of attorney, or a living will if you have them.