Your Medicare wellness exam is more than a preventive exam
If you’ve had Part B for longer than 12 months, you are entitled to have a yearly wellness visit to develop or update a personalized prevention plan. This plan is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health and risk factors. Please remember, the annual wellness exam is not the same as a physical. The purpose of this visit is to make sure you have what you need to be healthy.
It is also an important opportunity for your primary healthcare provider to:
- update your medical records
- create a screening schedule for you
- address any risk factors
- provide personalized health education and advice so you can stay healthy and active
The first part of the exam: answering healthcare questions
Your annual wellness exam is usually done in two parts. The first part of the exam can occur in one of two ways:
- You are sent a paper questionnaire to fill out and bring to your visit.
- You get a phone call from someone at your doctor’s office or from our Westchester Health wellness nurse, and you complete the paperwork at your doctor’s office with a nurse or your doctor.
Either way, you will be asked questions about your present health and lifestyle, including screening tests you have had and a list of medications you are taking, including vitamins and over-the-counter medications. You will also be asked about your present health habits, such as smoking, alcohol and caffeine intake, exercise, and other routines.
If you get a phone call from our wellness nurse, it will be a few weeks before your appointment. It can be scheduled at your convenience and should take no longer than 20 minutes.
The second part of the exam: assessing your health status
During the in-person part of the exam with your healthcare provider, your height, weight, blood pressure and other routine measurements may be taken. You may be given a physical exam, but the Medicare Wellness Exam is not a regular physical. If your doctor chooses to address any medical conditions other than routine ones, you may be charged a copay or coinsurance for that portion of the visit. Medicare only covers the wellness portion of the visit.
Next, you and your doctor will discuss any medical issues which you may be at risk for, and he/she will create a personalized plan for things you can do to stay healthy. Throughout the exam, you will have the opportunity to discuss any health-related concerns, questions and/or goals with your doctor.
Cost of the exam
There is no charge for the Medicare Annual Wellness Exam, as long as you have had Medicare Part B coverage for more than 12 months. If your doctor addresses any other health conditions, you may be charged a copay or coinsurance for that part of the visit.
About Westchester Health and Northwell Health Physician Partners
At Westchester Health, which is part of Northwell Health Physician Partners, our mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve. To achieve this, we are committed to providing the highest quality clinical care, to educating current and future generations of healthcare professionals, to discovering new advances in medicine through biomedical research, to promoting health education, and to caring for the entire community regardless of someone’s ability to pay.
For more information or to schedule your Medicare Wellness Exam, call (914) 232-1919 or visit us at www.westchesterhealth.com.
By Westchester Health, member of Northwell Health Physician Partners