Do I really need my annual wellness visit?

Take time to check in on your health, just like you would check in on your car. Read more about why this matters for Preventive Care.

Medicare’s annual wellness visits are like a tune-up for your car. If you’ve had Medicare for more than one year, you get one free wellness visit each year. Like a checkup for your car, this visit is a chance for you and your care team or doctor. Together, you’ll check out your health, rule out any major problems, and see if you need tweaks to keep you healthy, happy and running smoothly. If your care team or doctor find any health issues, they’ll work with you to fix them now – so you can stay healthy.

Each year, your wellness visit might include things like:

  • Filling out a questionnaire to help guide your visit
  • A review of your medical and family history
  • Measurements of your height, weight and blood pressure
  • Observations of any trouble thinking or remembering
  • Making or updating a list of all your doctors and medicines
  • Recommendations of screening tests, shots and other care you might need during the year

Unlike your trip to the auto shop, your annual wellness visits won’t cost you a thing. But for the visit to be free, you must go to a care team or doctor that’s on the list of doctors who accept your Medicare plan. If they recommend any extra care, tests or procedures during your visit, you might have to help pay for them. You can always call your insurance company to check how much these extras will cost, before you get them.

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If you’ve had Medicare for less than one year, schedule a similar “Welcome to Medicare” visit first. After that first year, you’ll have these annual wellness visits.

You are reading the “Getting started with your Medicare plan” series.

New to Medicare and not sure where to start? This series can help you get started.

Part 1: Welcome to Medicare visit vs. Medicare annual wellness visit – which do I need and when?
Part 2: How to prepare for your “Welcome to Medicare” visit
Part 3: Do I really need my annual wellness visit?