The importance of Medicare annual wellness visits
Medicare covers an annual wellness visit to review your current condition, prevent new medical problems and provide advice to help you stay as healthy as possible. At Northeast Medical Group, we encourage all of our Medicare beneficiaries to have an annual wellness visit yearly.
Your visit will include the following:
- Screening and risk assessment
- Recommended testing, such as mammograms and colonoscopies
- Discussion about your medical problems and treatments
- Screening for signs of memory loss or dementia
- Reviewing your height, weight and blood pressure
The annual wellness visit addresses many of the same topics as an annual physical exam, and covers additional areas like the health-risk assessment. The annual wellness visit does not include a physical exam or lab work. There may be additional costs for more testing of new or chronic medical conditions.
Traditional Medicare covers the annual wellness visit but not the annual physical exam. Medicare Advantage plans cover both. Many of our patients choose to have their annual wellness exam combined with a follow-up visit (standard copay) for a more comprehensive visit. Ask your primary care physician or care team member which schedule of visits is right for you.
“Many companies now offer these services outside of your primary care office. It may seem convenient to use a mobile unit or outside team to assess your wellness, but you’ll miss the opportunity to strengthen your relationship with the medical team providing your care for the long term. I strongly urge all Medicare beneficiaries to take advantage of this important service by scheduling time with their primary care office to review their wellness goals and create a health plan that meets their needs,” said Vivian Argento, MD, a geriatric medicine specialist with NEMG in Stratford. “Your primary care office has the best understanding of your health and will help you better understand risk factors.”
For more information on your specific preventive benefits, refer to your Medicare Advantage plan or visit www.medicare.gov.