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5 Things You Should Know About Your Free Annual Wellness Visit and Telehealth Options

5 Things You Should Know About Your Free Annual Wellness Visit and Telehealth Options

Medicare has recognized the importance of preventative care and your Medicare Benefits now cover an Annual Wellness Visit. The goal of this visit is to help your doctor better understand your medical history and your potential risk factors for illness.

  • The first visit is called the one-time Welcome to Medicare Preventive Visit. Subsequent visits are called Annual Wellness Visits (AWV), and you cannot get one in the same year as your Welcome to Medicare Visit.

  • The Annual Wellness Visit and Welcome to Medicare Preventive Visit are not head-to-toe physical exams.

  • You will always leave your AWV with a follow-up plan, such as screenings or testing due, education programs and classes.

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, Telehealth options are a great way for patients to arrange for their AWV to be done from home.

  • There is no co-pay for your AWV. Think of it as a gift to your health. Schedule an Annual Wellness Visit with your physician today!

At this visit you and your doctor will:

  • Talk about your medical and family history, including what may have changed in the past year.

  • Develop/update your current list of doctors (specialists) and the medications you take, including vitamins and supplements.

  • Take height, weight, blood pressure, and other routine measurements.

  • Assess your cognitive status and mental functioning.

  • Create a list of your specific health risk factors and outline your treatment options.

  • Give you a checklist and schedule of recommended health screenings, immunizations and preventive services, along with information on what Medicare pays for, what charges get applied to your Plan B deductible and what costs may need to be paid out of pocket, if any.

  • Discuss your overall health and answer your questions.

Quick Tips to Prepare for a Telehealth Appointment

  • Keep any medical devices you have close at hand -- (i.e. thermometer, blood pressure monitor, glucometer for measuring sugar levels, heart monitor, or even a bathroom scale)

  • Write down questions before your appointment -- Make a list of all the questions so you are sure to address all of your concerns and keep a notepad handy to take any notes on your doctor’s responses.

  • Find a quiet spot for your appointment -- To avoid being interrupted, find a quiet spot for your consultation. In fact, you may want to use ‘earbuds’ or headphones to further reduce outside noise during your appointment.

  • Prepare your device(s) beforehand -- By their very nature, telehealth appointments require technology to facilitate the consultation. Whether it’s a cell phone, laptop or desktop computer, make sure it’s fully charged or plugged in, and you have a reliable internet connection.

Contact your primary care physician and make your appointment today. If you do not have a primary care physician and would like assistance with a referral please call 310-891-6717, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.