If you have Medicare, be sure to schedule your yearly wellness visit with your doctor. The yearly wellness visit is a great tool to help you stay healthy.
What happens during a yearly wellness visit?
Before your visit, the doctor or nurse will ask you to answer some questions. This is called a health risk assessment. Your answers will help you and the doctor or nurse get the most from your yearly wellness visit.
During your visit, the doctor or nurse will:
- Go over your health risk assessment with you
- Measure your height and weight and check your blood pressure
- Give you health advice to help you prevent disease, improve your health, and stay well
The doctor or nurse will give you a short written plan – like a checklist – to take home with you. This plan will include the screening tests and other preventive services that you will need over the next 5 to 10 years.
What about cost?
With Medicare Part B, you can get a wellness visit once a year at no cost to you. Check to make sure your doctor or nurse accepts Medicare when you schedule your appointment.
If you get additional tests or services that aren’t covered under the yearly wellness visit (like an extra blood test), you may have to use other insurance or pay out-of-pocket.
When can I go for a wellness visit?
You can get a wellness visit when:
- You’ve had Medicare Part B for more than 12 months.
- It’s been at least 12 months since your last wellness visit.
You don’t need to have a “Welcome to Medicare” visit before getting a yearly wellness visit. If you choose to get the “Welcome to Medicare” Preventive Visit during the first 12 months you have Medicare Part B, you’ll have to wait 12 months before you can get your first yearly wellness visit.
Who can get Medicare coverage?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program. You may be able to get Medicare if you:
- Are age 65 or older
- Are under age 65 and have a disability
- Have end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure)
You must be living in the U.S. legally for at least 5 years to be eligible for Medicare. Find out more about eligibility for Medicare.