UH Primary Care

Medicare Annual Wellness Visits

A Medicare annual wellness visit focuses on health promotion and disease prevention, which is key to living a long, healthy life. Find a doctor and schedule your Medicare Annual Wellness visit today.

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What Is a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit?

During your Medicare Annual Wellness visit (AWV), your health care provider will go over your health risks, prevention measures and screenings to make sure all your immunizations, cancer screenings and other health screenings are discussed and scheduled. Your physician will conduct a health risk assessment to help optimize your health and prevent future disease. In addition, the visit gives you an opportunity to ask questions and obtain in-depth information on your health. An AWV is not a traditional physical exam but a time to make sure you are up to date on cancer screening and preventable health conditions, immunizations and any personal health risks.

What Is the Difference Between an Annual Wellness Visit and the “Welcome to Medicare” Visit?

Your “Welcome to Medicare” visit happens just once during your first 12 months of receiving Medicare Part B. During the “Welcome to Medicare” visit, your doctor checks your height, weight, blood pressure and vision, as well as reviews your health and family history. You then have your Annual Wellness visit yearly after your “Welcome to Medicare” visit.

What Is Included in Your AWV?

Health Risk Assessment

Review your blood pressure, heart rate, height, weight and body mass index (BMI).

Patient History Review

Review your current health problems, as well as your medical, surgical, family and social histories.

Review of Current Health Providers

Establish or update a list of your current health care providers.

Medication Review

Review and document current medications, supplements and any medical equipment you use.

Screening & Shots Review

Discuss and schedule preventive screenings and shots recommended for you based on your age, risk factors and family history.

Patient Education

Provide education and referrals based on other components of the visit.

Fall Prevention

Review your functional ability and level of safety.

End of Life Planning

Discuss wishes and treatment preferences for care if you are unable to make those decisions in the future.

Important Medicare and Legal Forms

Who Is Eligible?

All patients with Medicare Part B insurance are eligible and fully covered for Medicare Annual Wellness Visits.

Three Types of Wellness Visits

  • Initial preventive physical exam (IPPE): This visit occurs within 12 months of your Medicare enrollment.
  • Initial annual wellness visit: This visit takes place 11 full calendar months after the IPPE or if you've never had an IPPE and you've had Medicare coverage for more than 12 months.
  • Subsequent annual wellness visits: These visits take place 11 full calendar months since the last annual wellness visit.

Schedule a Visit with a Primary Care Doctor

It's important that you ask to schedule an annual wellness visit when you make your appointment. Doing so will ensure that Medicare covers the visit as a preventive service.

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How Much Does a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit Cost?

As long as you see a provider who accepts Medicare, you will not have to pay coinsurance, a copayment or a deductible for your Medicare AWV. However, if your physician identifies other needed services to be performed at the time of the visit, you may owe a coinsurance or copayment for those extra services. Be sure to discuss any cost-related questions you have with your physician's office in advance of your visit.

Among the services not included in the AWV are:

  • Physical exam
  • Illness diagnostics
  • Diagnostic tests such as x-rays, ultrasounds, EKGs and bloodwork
  • Treatments for any conditions you may have

Note that you can schedule both your AWV and a visit for a specific health problem on the same day with the same physician, but they will count as two separate services.

Preparing for Your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

Bring these items to your visit:

  • Immunization records
  • A list of currently prescribed medicines, supplements and over-the-counter medicines you take
  • A list of your patient care team (any specialists you see for care)
  • Your family medical history

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