Make a healthy New Year's resolution
Schedule your Annual Wellness Visit.
The new year is a great time to get a fresh start on your health care goals. And one of the best and easiest things you can do for your health is to schedule your Annual Wellness Visit (AWV).
“An Annual Wellness Visit is a good time for your doctor to check your overall health,” said Joshua Jacobs, MD, Optum Care. “If there are new health care problems, we can usually catch them early, when they are easier to care for.”
Below are answers to common questions about AWVs.
How is an AWV different from a regular exam?
This is not a head-to-toe physical exam. You won’t get screenings like blood tests during this visit. If you’re not feeling well or are worried about a specific problem, you need to schedule another appointment.
What should I bring to my AWV?
You'll need to complete a health risk assessment before to your visit. Your doctor’s office may mail the form to you before your visit. Or, they may give you a link to download it.
Bring the completed form and your medicines (including over-the-counter drugs) to your visit. You can also bring a copy of your advance care planning worksheet. This helps your doctor know about your end-of-life wishes. It will be kept in your medical file.
How do I get an AWV?
We understand you may be nervous about going to your clinic to get your AWV. That’s why we have a few ways for you to complete this important visit:
- See your primary care doctor at your clinic. We have new cleaning and distancing guidelines in our clinics. If you’re comfortable with them, you can have your AWV in the office as usual.
- Schedule a video visit. Many people can have their AWV through a video visit (by phone, computer or tablet) or a mobile clinic. Check with your clinic for details.
No matter where you get your AWV, the results will be shared with your primary care doctor.
What happens during an AWV?
Unlike a checkup, this yearly visit focuses on preventive care. Your doctor will typically check your:
- Health history
- Vital signs
Your doctor will also:
- Check your list of medicines
- Look for any signs of confusion
- Offer health advice designed to keep you healthy
- Create a list of your risk factors (anything that raises your chances of getting sick)
- Create a care plan for you (what you and your doctor can do to help keep you healthy)
- Offer a checklist of screenings that are right for you
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 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.