Annual wellness visits
Yearly health evaluations can keep you healthier longer.
Your first visit to your OptumCare™ Medical Group primary care provider may be your “Welcome to Medicare” visit. This visit happens after you join Medicare. This is a visit that you can have within the first 12 months after you start Medicare Part B. (You might have Part B by itself or as part of a Medicare Advantage plan). During this visit, your medical provider will go over your medical history. He or she will also talk to you about your health and talk about preventive health services. These services include annual screenings to help you stay healthy.
After that first visit, OptumCare Medical Group will help you stay on top of your health. We will remind you each year to schedule your annual wellness visit (AWV). These yearly visits with your medical provider give you the chance to create or update your personalized prevention plan. Together, you and your medical provider will come up with this plan and a strategy to help you stay healthy.
Who qualifies for an AWV?
You qualify for an annual wellness visit if:
- You’ve had Medicare Part B (by itself or as part of Medicare Advantage) for more than 12 months.
- You have not had a “Welcome to Medicare” visit in the last 12 months.
What to expect at your AWV
As part of your first annual wellness visit, you will fill out a personal health risk assessment. You and your health provider will use this to create a personalized plan to keep you healthy.
During your annual wellness visit, your medical provider will also:
- Review your medical and family history.
- Review a schedule of preventive health screenings with you to make sure you are getting certain tests done on time. These include a colonoscopy or regular mammogram screenings for women.
- Do a blood screening to measure your blood sugar levels, cholesterol and other tests that may help detect health problems.
- Review any medicines you take to make sure those medicines are still right for you. Your provider will also make sure all your medicines are safe to take together.
- Measure your height, weight, blood pressure, and body mass index or waist size. These measures help your provider to track changes now and in the future. (Large drops in weight and height can point to a serious health problem.)
- Perform other routine screenings and preventive services if necessary, based on your medical and family history.
After your first health assessment, you will be eligible for another one every year (every 12 months). Each time, your medical provider will update all of the information you provided during your first visit, including your personal health risk assessment.
How much will I pay for the Annual Wellness Visit?
Your annual wellness visit is a once-a-year preventive exam. Medicare Part B covers the cost of this exam. If you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan, check with your health plan to see if these benefits also apply to you.
Does my annual wellness visit replace my other visits to my primary care provider?
Wellness visits focus on preventive care. If you have other concerns you wish to discuss with your primary care provider, you may need to schedule a separate visit. You will also need to schedule a separate visit to talk about any chronic medical problems you have. These might include diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma or other conditions. This will give your provider more time to address all your concerns.
What should I bring to the annual wellness visit?
Plan to bring the following items to your wellness visit each year:
- Your medical records and the list of shots you have had. If you’re seeing a new doctor, call your former doctor to get copies of these records.
- Your family health history. This helps your doctor determine if you’re at risk for certain diseases.
- A list of prescriptions and other medicines or pills that you take. Also, write down why you take them and how often you take them.