Medicare Wellness Visits

1200 North 7th Street, Chariton, Iowa 50049 Phone: (641) 774-3105 or (641) 774-3110 | Toll-free: (800) 404-3111 | Email: sbellon@lchcia.com or kguthrie@lchcia.com

When enrolling with Medicare, it can be confusing to understand what each item is, what services are covered, and what exams should be done and when. Our Care Coordination Team is available to help assist with these questions and more.

What is a Welcome to Medicare Annual Wellness Visit?

This visit is available within the first 12 months of enrolling in Medicare Part B. During this visit, the provider will measure height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure. The provider will also go over your medical history, family medical history, and any potential risk factors for preventable diseases such as Type II diabetes and depression.

During this visit, a nurse or provider will:

  • Measure your height, weight, blood pressure, and Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Review your medical and family history
  • Assess your risk factors and treatment options
  • Review your Health Risk Assessment questionnaire
  • Update your list of providers and prescriptions
  • Look for signs of cognitive impairment
  • Set up a screening schedule for appropriate preventive services

Your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit will include the assessments, but none of the “physical” tests where the doctor has to physically touch you. Under Medicare, a provider will only perform these types of services if there is a specific diagnosis or symptom which requires that type of exam. Other services will be scheduled, but not performed, during your Wellness Visit. You can find a complete list of covered preventive services under Medicare here.

What is an Annual Physical? 

If you have Medicare Part B, you could also quality for an Annual Physical, which is a more extensive exam than a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit. A typical annual physical will also include services such as a vital signs check, lung exam, head and neck exam, abdominal exam, neurological exam, and a check of your reflexes.

During an annual physical, a nurse or provider will:

  • Measure height, weight, blood pressure, and Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Review your medical and family history
  • Assess your risk factors for preventable diseases
  • Check vital signs
  • Perform a head and neck exam
  • Perform a lung exam
  • Perform an abdominal exam
  • Perform a neurological exam
  • Test your reflexes
  • May submit urine and blood samples for lab testing

What is the difference between a Medicare Annual Wellness Visit and an Annual Physical?

The purpose of the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is to paint a picture of your current state of health and to create a baseline for future care. Any additional tests or labs that may be required as a result of the findings during your Annual Visit would be billed separately by your provider and would fall under a different benefit number than your Annual Wellness Visit.

The main difference is that Medicare will cover an Annual Wellness Visit, but will not cover an Annual Physical.

I would like more information or assistance, who can I contact?

Our Care Coordination Team is available to assist with any questions you might have about your Medicare Annual Wellness Visit or your Annual Physical. For assistance, contact Sonya Bellon, RN at (641) 774-3105 or Kerri Guthrie, RN at (641) 774-3110.