According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is a great opportunity for seniors to receive preventive care and advice from their doctors, but many don’t know about this benefit or simply don’t utilize it. This is an important visit to consider every year because it gives you a chance to discuss your health with your primary care doctor and receive advice on how to adjust your lifestyle to manage your current health and prevent further degradation or new health issues.
One of the reasons you should always take advantage of your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is that it is 100% covered by Medicare Part B. If you have had Medicare Part B for at least 12 months and have not had any preventive care or exams, then this is a readily available option, and it comes with a lot of great benefits. To ensure that your visit is covered, ask for it by name with your registered in network primary care physician by requesting an “Annual Wellness Visit” when you make your appointment. Be sure not to schedule as a routine physical exam, unless it is covered under your specific plan and you understand your co-pays and deductibles as it is not the same as the “Annual Wellness Visit”.
Benefits of the Annual Exam
The purpose of the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is for preventive care. This appointment is best done with your primary care doctor, who is keeping track of your health and any issues so that they remain appraised of your current conditions. Their role in your wellness exam is to go over your medical history and current medical problems to discuss preventive care and health management to keep you healthier longer.
The visit is not meant to diagnose new issues or prescribe new medications, but your doctor may recommend that you see a specialist if you have a problem that needs to be addressed medically. The wellness visit is a way for your doctor to give you ideas on how to maintain your current health—exercise, diet, and some lifestyle adjustments that help you care for your mind and body every day based on your current health and any issues you have. According to the NCOA, you’ll also receive an assessment that checks for dementia, memory loss, depression, anxiety, and other conditions.
What to Bring
For any doctor visit, you should bring a list of any medications, vitamins, and/or supplements you’re currently taking. This is also the case for your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. Once you arrive for your visit, you’ll be asked to complete a Health Risk Assessment as well, which asks questions about your past and present medical conditions so that your doctor can get a quick overview before recommending preventive care related to your health and current conditions. The Health Risk Assessment can be filled out ahead of time, so remember to bring it with you if you choose to have it completed prior to your visit.
Contact Aging Benefits Advisory Today!
If you need help navigating the world of senior health insurance, our advisors at Aging Benefits Advisory are here to assist. Take advantage of our free consultation to ensure that you receive the plan for your budget and needs. We specialize in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, Dental, Vision, and Final Expense for the senior market of Pinellas County, Pasco County, Manatee County, Hillsborough County, Polk County, Sarasota County, Citrus County, and Marion County, Florida. If you would like a free consultation, contact us online or give us a call at 727-800-4835. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.