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What Is a Wellness Exam?

Annual wellness exam calender

It is Time to Take Charge of Your Health!

Health tests and exams are very important as slight prevention can go a long way. Through these tests, you will be able to find problems even before they arise or find medical complications in their early stages – when the chances for treatment are doubtlessly better. 

With screenings, treatments, and health services, you will improve your chance to live a healthier and longer life, so do not neglect the need to consider a physical examination.

What Is a Wellness Exam?

Once you have had Medicare Plan B for 12 months or more, you are an eligible candidate for an annual wellness visit. The point of the Medicare annual wellness visit is to keep you in good health and reduce your overall medical costs through assessment of risk factors and early detection of diseases. 

The difference between a general wellness exam and a problem-oriented visit is that the latter visits are used to diagnose a current health problem, while a wellness exam is used to diagnose a problem in its early stage. The problem visits are done by request of the patient because they have some type of health issues and want to find out the reason why. For instance, if you want to have a test because you are having certain problems, this is known as diagnostic care, but if your doctor wants you to do a specific test due to your family history, that is known as preventive care.

After you complete a health risk assessment, your doctor will create your personalized prevention plan. Based on your current health, this plan will improve your engagement, help you prevent illness and overall promote preventive health care.

The annual wellness exam helps in drawing a picture of how healthy you are and creating directions for future care.

Wellness exam results

Is an Annual Wellness Exam the Same as an Annual Physical Exam?

An annual physical exam is a more extensive exam than the annual wellness exam. The annual wellness exam includes only the health assessment, which means it does not involve routine measurements where the doctor physically examines you.

In addition to the aforementioned services that are included in the wellness exam, the physical exam also includes services such as a check of your reflexes, a head and neck exam, neurological exam, abdominal exam, lung exam, and a vital signs check.

What Is Done at a Wellness Exam?

Before your appointment, you will be asked to answer a questionnaire about your health, called Health Risk Assessment. The questionnaire should not take you more than 20 minutes to complete. The answers will provide your doctor with important information that will be discussed during your annual wellness exam. At this phase, the doctor will also collect information about psychosocial risks, behavioral risks, self-assessment of health, demographics, and activities of daily living like walking, bathing, and medication management.

During the exam, the doctor will review your medical and family history through:

  • Medical events of your children, parents, siblings including diseases that place you at increased risk or diseases that are hereditary
  • Past medical history including allergies, injuries, treatments, operations, hospitalizations, and illnesses
  • Current medications and supplements you are taking

Your doctor will ask questions about your weight, height, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) and you will discuss your health choices and current lifestyle. The visit may also include different types of screening depending on your gender, risk, and age. At the end of the exam, the doctor will develop or update a list of current prescriptions and providers, and he/she will create a list of risk factors and treatment options available for you and will offer you personalized health advice.

To your annual wellness exam, you should bring:

  • Your Medicare card or another insurance card
  • Your medical records
  • Your family’s medical records
  • A list of your health care providers
  • A list of medications and supplements you take

How Much Does a Wellness Exam Cost?

In case you have had Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) for longer than 12 months, you will get an annual wellness visit once every 12 months. However, you may have to pay coinsurance in case your doctor does some additional tests during your visit, which are not covered under the preventive benefits.

Medicare also covers some other preventive services like flu shots, bone density measurement, and preventive cancer screenings at no cost.

Take control of your health with VIPcare wellness exam

Schedule Your Wellness Exam at VIPcare!

Use your annual wellness exam to gain more focus on your physical and mental health and overall well-being. Most insurance plans fully cover the wellness exam, so these services may be available to you free of charge.

You will get more time to take advantage of your benefits if you schedule the annual wellness visit early. The sooner you know what kind of treatment you need, the sooner you can start minimizing your expenses.

Schedule an appointment for a wellness exam with our doctors at VIPcare and make the most out of your one-on-one visit with our doctors.