What is a Medicare Wellness Visit?
Wellness is a broad term used to describe a person’s overall health. At the core of any good wellness plan is an experienced physician. For older adults, the relationship with their doctor is especially vital. It plays a big role in determining how healthy you remain as you grow older.
Finding a physician you feel confident in often determines how well you follow doctor’s orders. You may be more likely to schedule an annual physical and stay on track with other essential screenings if you are comfortable with your doctor. This regular contact gives the physician an opportunity to identify and address small health issues before they become serious problems.
Who Pays for a Senior’s Annual Doctor Visit?
Older adults used to be personally responsible for the cost of all or part of their annual wellness visits. For those on a tight budget, it sometimes meant skipping an annual physical because of the expense. Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped to change that.
ACA focuses on making health insurance coverage available to everyone and improving access to preventative screenings. Today, colonoscopies, mammograms, and an annual Medicare Wellness Visit are all covered services under most health plans.
Understanding the Medicare Wellness Visit
If you or a senior loved one has been a recipient of Medicare for at least 12 months, the benefit will pay for one Wellness Visit per year. The physician will usually perform a variety of tests and screenings:
· Depression screening
· Vision examination
· Blood-pressure reading
· Reflexes test
· Body mass index
The physician will also review important health information, such as:
Family medical history: The Medicare Wellness Visit gives seniors and their doctors a chance to review their family’s medical history and genetic risks. This background helps a physician create a personalized care plan for the patient, including which preventative health screenings are necessary and how often to require them.
Personal medical history: While some diseases and health issues are genetic, many others are related to lifestyle choices. Tobacco usage, a poor diet, sitting too much, and excessive alcohol drinking are prime examples. Past medical history can also influence future health. Childhood trauma, such as witnessing domestic violence or being injured, can lead to mental and physical health issues during adulthood. When your physician has a better understanding of your history, they are better equipped to care for you.
Wellness Visit is Covered by Medicare