Medicare Annual Wellness Visit: What You Should Know

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Chances are you’ve heard of a Medicare annual wellness visit (AWV). But you may have some questions about what happens. Let’s talk about what you can expect from this appointment, including Medicare coverage, what’s included, and more.

What Is the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit?

It’s essentially a doctor’s appointment. When you have your Medicare annual wellness visit, your doctor will have you take a “Health Risk Assessment” or health questionnaire. By completing this, your physician can create a tailored prevention plan. The health questionnaire may include:

  • Health advice
  • Current medical providers
  • Current height and weight
  • Personal and family health history
  • Potential risk factors and treatments
  • An up-to-date list of medications you’re taking

Medicare Coverage for Your Annual Wellness Exam Visit

Your annual visit coverage falls under Medicare Part B — although the deductible doesn’t apply. Note that you must have Part B for over 12 months to be eligible for this visit

Those who qualify will get 100% coverage for their AWV when a participating provider carries out the services. Your doctor may need to review or treat a new or existing issue during your appointment, which is considered additional, diagnostic care. So, you could be billed for diagnostic care because of this extra service — due to your risk factors or symptoms.

Related Post: Does Medicare Cover Preventative Care?

What Your Annual Wellness Visit Includes

It’s hard to prepare for a visit if you don’t know what to expect. In most cases, the doctor runs through standard wellness checks. You may encounter the following:

  • Vision checks
  • Immunizations
  • Blood pressure check 
  • Health risk assessment
  • Height and weight checks
  • Verbal screening for depression
  • Counseling and health education
  • Personal and family health history
  • Medication and supplement review
  • Cognitive impairment — like Alzheimer’s or dementia

What Your Visit Doesn’t Include

There are many procedures and tests that your annual wellness visit will omit. You won’t have to worry about x-rays, bloodwork, or a hands-on physical exam, among other things.

What Else You Should Know

-Annual physical exams are different from annual wellness visits. 

-The Medicare Wellness Visit is not the same thing as the Welcome to Medicare visit — which is a preventative, one-time appointment that you may get when you first join Medicare.

-Annual visits aren’t mandatory, but the benefits of attending outweigh those of not going. The earlier a doctor can detect an illness or disease, the better. And the quicker you can discuss treatment options.

What Should You Bring to the Appointment?

Be sure to bring your current list of vitamins, supplements, and medications with you to your visit. You should also inform your doctor if your family’s health history has changed. This medical history helps determine any health problems that pose a risk to you. Your physician will take the case history and your current records and go over a personal health plan with you.

Related Post: 6 Ways You Can Save Money on Medicare

Bobby Brock Insurance Answers Your Medicare Questions

Bobby Brock Insurance has been helping Medicare beneficiaries since 1992. Whether you have questions about coverage or you need help identifying your options, we’re here for you day in and day out. We’d love to hear from you. Call (662) 844-3300 or contact our team online!

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Justin Brock

President & CEO of Bobby Brock Insurance