Although Medicare doesn’t cover routine annual physicals like you may associate with other health insurance plans, you are eligible for an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV). As long as you’ve had Part B coverage for over one year, you’re entitled to an AWV once every 12 months.
If you’re wondering how an AWV differs from a physical, Dr. Tim Martin and the care providers at Tim Martin M.D. in Abilene, Texas, are here to help. We’ve put together the information you need to understand what happens at an AWV and why these visits are an important part of your health care.
Keep reading to learn more.
What is an Annual Wellness Visit?
Medicare does not cover routine physical exams, which play a key role in helping your provider with early detection of many medical and health conditions. However, Annual Wellness Visits were added to Medicare under the Affordable Care Act as part of your personalized prevention plan to help with early detection.
Who is eligible for an AWV?
To be eligible for an AWV, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a Medicare patient with Part B coverage for over 12 months
- Not have received an AWV within the past 12 months
In addition, you must wait at least 12 months from the time of your Welcome to Medicare preventive visit.
How much does an Annual Wellness Visit cost?
Your AWV is 100% covered by Medicare, meaning you won’t have a copay or bill for the visit. Any diagnostic testing or lab work that Dr. Martin recommends that are separate from your AWV may require billing, but the team discusses these items and expected costs with you before ordering them.
Do I need to bring anything to my AWV?
Yes! Please bring a complete list or the bottles of all medications, supplements, vitamins, and over-the-counter drugs you take. You should also bring your completed Health Risk Assessment, Medicare card, and a state-issued ID or driver’s license.
Come prepared with the top two or three topics or concerns you’d like to cover as well as any medical records from providers you may have visited since your last wellness visit with Dr. Martin, such as any hospitalization, emergency room visits, or urgent care appointments.
Lastly, if you’re concerned about any chronic conditions you have or the development of memory trouble or forgetfulness, it can be helpful to bring a family member or friend with you to the appointment.
What happens at my AWV?
If this is your first Annual Wellness Visit with Dr. Martin, he’ll spend some time developing your personalized prevention plan with you. He’ll review your Heath Risk Assessment which provides important information for Dr. Martin to discuss with you during the visit.
Generally speaking, your AWV appointment is similar to regular check-ups or physicals you’ve likely had in the past. Dr. Martin asks you questions about any concerns you may have as well as your daily routine, memory, and medical history.
Your provider also checks specific measurements and evaluates your body systems, including:
- Height, weight, and body mass index (BMI)
- Blood pressure evaluation
- Assessment for cognitive impairment
- Risk factors for mood disorders, like depression
- Functional ability and safety (fall risk)
- Vision and hearing screening
In addition, Dr. Martin may provide a referral or advice about any relevant health topics that arise, such as weight loss, stopping smoking, or help with nutrition.
If you’re ready to schedule your Annual Wellness Visit, call the Abilene, Texas, office of Tim Martin MD to schedule an appointment or make an appointment using our online booking tool now!