Spring into Spring with Your Medicare Wellness Visit

As spring bulbs peek cautiously above ground, checking whether it’s safe to come out, it’s a good time to think about nurturing ourselves as well as our gardens. Medicare makes it easy to do.

Your Part B coverage provides for a wellness visit with your doctor every year. This is part of Medicare’s commitment to health, wellness and disease prevention. You pay no deductible and no copay for the visit.

Nice to Your Wallet, Necessary to Your Wellness

Prevention pays, and not just in monetary terms. Pursuing preventive care, such as your wellness visit, can help you improve your health and stay healthier longer. It can help find health problems early, when treatment works best. It can even help protect you from getting certain diseases.

Your wellness visit is an opportunity for you and your doctor to discuss your health status and concerns. Together you can create your personal prevention plan. It can be the doorway to other Medicare preventive services that you may need, such as exams, shots, lab tests, and screenings. Additional preventive services include health monitoring, counseling and education programs that can help you take care of your own health.

How to Prepare for Your Wellness Visit

In medicine, there is something called the doctor-patient relationship. Building this relationship is important to your health.

Your doctor will be best able to help you when you are an active patient. Preparing for your wellness visit is a good first step. You may want to gather the following information to take with you:

  • Medical records, including immunizations
  • Family health history, in as much detail as possible
  • Complete list of medications and supplements, including how often and how much of each you take
  • Complete list of your current providers, pharmacies and others involved in providing care
  • Medicare’s preventive services checklist

You may also want to write down your questions and concerns to discuss with your doctor. And bring a loved one or friend, if possible. These steps can help ensure that you don’t forget or miss anything during the visit.

When You Don’t Know, Ask

It’s important to consider that your doctor—in providing good care—may want you to have exams or tests that Medicare doesn’t cover. You may also be asked to have tests more or less often than Medicare covers them.

Be sure to ask about any exams or tests that your doctor suggests for you. Your questions may include: What is the test for? Will Medicare cover it? Will I have to pay; how much? When will I get the results? What will the results mean for my care? Also, if you don’t get test results when you expect to, call and ask for them.

–This information was provided by Medicare Made Clear

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