Your Annual Wellness Visit is FREE once a year with Medicare Part B. Your doctor or healthcare provider will see what you are like when you are feeling normal (not sick), and catch up on all your medicines and other care for a “How are you?” talk. It’s a time for you and your provider to discuss ways to reduce your risk of sickness and injury and plan together how you will stay well.
At a traditional physical exam (not covered by Medicare) you review your current health issues. But at the free Annual Wellness Visit, you will talk about habits and lifestyle choices to help keep you at your best. You will talk about your mood, functional abilities, and how to prevent falls or other problems. You can also plan the care you’d want if you could not speak for yourself.
At the free Annual Wellness Visit, your provider may recommend tests or screenings to catch illness early. He or she may suggest services or equipment to help you stay well. Before you decide, ask what Medicare will cover.
Important additional information
- Your Annual Wellness Visit is free once a year starting in your second
year on Medicare. The first year, you can get a “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit. Call your provider for an appointment.
- Medicare’s rules say that your doctor may ask certain other members of the care team to meet with you instead for your Annual Wellness Visit.
On the Medicare.gov website, the following information is provided
If you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you can get this visit to develop or update a personalized prevention help plan. This plan is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health and risk factors. Your provider will ask you to fill out a questionnaire, called a “Health Risk Assessment,” as part of this visit. Answering these questions can help you and your provider develop a personalized prevention plan to help you stay healthy and get the most out of your visit. It can also include:
- A review of your medical and family history.
- Developing or updating a list of current providers and prescriptions.
- Height, weight, blood pressure, and other routine measurements.
- Detection of any cognitive impairment.
- Personalized health advice.
- A list of risk factors and treatment options for you.
- A screening schedule (like a checklist) for appropriate preventive services.
- Advance care planning.
A “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit is an introductory visit only available within the first 12 months you have Part B Medicare coverage.
The services listed here are available if you have had Part B Medicare coverage for more than 12 months.
For additional information regarding the Annual Wellness Visit, go to:
medicare.gov and type in the search bar: “Annual Wellness Visit”;
Then click on the first search result: Preventive Visit & Yearly Wellness Exams.