Scheduled your Annual Wellness Visit yet?
Here are the top five reasons to get it on your calendar.
We get it. Going to the doctor is not everyone’s favorite activity. But take a look at the following reasons to have an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV). We bet you’ll see why it’s so important to get this appointment on your calendar.
1. You can track your health year to year
You and your doctor can talk about ways to improve your health and create an action plan. Next year, your doctor can look at where you were this year. Then, you can see if your health has changed over time.
2. You can catch problems early
Having a yearly visit means your doctor can easily see changes in your health. Maybe your blood pressure is higher, or you’ve lost a lot of weight without dieting. If you skip an AWV, important changes could be missed.
When you have an AWV, your doctor can catch problems at an earlier stage, when they are usually easier to treat.
3. You can share important health information
Keep your doctor updated on your medical and family health history. This helps your doctor understand what could raise your chances of getting sick.
The AWV also gives your doctor a good overview of your medical and surgery history, and the medicines and supplements you take.
The visit is also a good time to turn in your advance care planning worksheet. This worksheet helps you put in writing your end-of-life wishes. Your doctor will keep it in your medical file so your wishes are known.
4. It helps your doctor understand you better
When you skip the AWV, you end up only seeing your doctor when you’re sick. It’s harder for someone to care for you when they don’t know you well.
5. And finally, it’s free
There’s no charge and no copay for your AWV. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t met your deductible or which type of health insurance you have. Just remember that you need to have your AWV with a doctor or provider who accepts Medicare.
"We believe the Annual Wellness Visit is well worth the little time it takes,” said Joshua Jacobs, MD, Optum Care. “Our goal is to keep you healthy, not just see you when you’re sick.”
Will Medicare cover an Annual Wellness Visit?
Yes, but note two details:
- Medicare sets the price of the Annual Wellness Visit. This is the amount that Medicare will pay your doctor for it.
- You need to have your Annual Wellness Visit with a doctor or other provider who accepts Medicare.
You pay nothing for the Annual Wellness Visit. (You have no deductible or coinsurance.)
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Optum Care
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.