Medicare Physical

Did you know that Medicare beneficiaries entitled to receive an ONE-TIME “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit? As a result, this is an essential checkup resulting in the chance to have a conversation with your doctor about physical and emotional health.  The best part is there is no out-of-pocket for the Medicare physical patient! For these reasons, it's important to put it on a calendar as an annual event.

Most noteworthy this visit may include:

  • A review of you and your family's medical history

  • Simple vision test

  • Height, weight and blood pressure measurement

  • Recommendations for other screening tests, vaccinations, etc.

The ABC's of a Medicare Initial Preventive Physical Examination (IPPE) 

Medicare beneficiaries enrolled for 12 months or more into the Medicare program refer to the visit as an ANNUAL “Wellness Visit.” formerly called a physical…  The main reason for this visit is to discuss and help prevent any diseases. Furthermore, this visit is only covered in full if scheduled as an annual wellness visit.

Most noteworthy this visit may include:

  • Answering questions to help guide the appointment in a helpful direction

  • A review of you and your family’s medical history

  • Height, weight and blood pressure measurement

  • Updating and/or making a list of your medications and doctors you have seen

  • Testing/discussing any troubles remembering or thinking clearly

  • Discussion of recommendations for other screenings, tests, vaccinations, etc.

The ABC's of a Medicare Annual Wellness Exam

Who's eligible? All people with Part B are covered.

Costs in Original Medicare

You pay nothing for the “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit or the yearly “Wellness” visit if your doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment. Most noteworthy, the Part B deductible doesn’t apply.However, you may have to pay coinsurance. The Part B deductible may apply for example, if your doctor performs additional tests or services during the same visit.

Helpful Tips

Bring the following things to be best prepared for the “Welcome to Medicare” visit:

  • Medical records, including immunization records.

  • A list of current prescription drugs, as well as over-the-counter drugs and supplements.

  • Family health history.

  • Finally, any information you can give your doctor to help determine if you are at risk for certain diseases.

Remember the Differences

Medicare will cover an annual wellness visit, but not an annual physical.  "Well," you might ask "what's the difference?"  During a Medicare annual wellness visit, the provider will measure height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure.  The provider will also go over your medical history, family medical history and any potential risk factors for preventable diseases such as Type II diabetes and depression. Medicare also covers a number of other preventive services at no cost, such as preventive cancer screenings, bone density measurement, and flu vaccinations.

An annual physical is a more extensive exam than a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. In addition to Wellness services, a typical Annual Physical might also include services such as a vital signs check, lung exam, head and neck exam, abdominal exam, neurological exam, and a check of your reflexes.  Any blood work or lab tests that may be part of a physical exam are also not included under a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit.

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