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Medicare Wellness Visits

Preventative Care Services

To help keep patients as healthy as possible, Medicare offers free annual “wellness visits” intended to prevent problems before they begin. A Medicare Annual Wellness Visit is a yearly appointment with care team members to discuss an individualized preventive care plan. A plan is developed based on a person’s current health and risk factors. The wellness visit, however, is not an actual head-to-toe physical exam, and does not replace a person’s annual physical exam.

The introductory “Welcome to Medicare Visit”, as well as the yearly wellness visits, are covered with no co-pay or deductible, as long as Medicare’s criteria are followed.

Welcome to Medicare Visit

Medicare covers this one-time visit within the first 12 months a person has Medicare Part B (medical insurance). The visit includes a review of medical and social history related to health and education, and counseling about preventive services, such as certain screenings, immunizations, and referrals for other care that is needed.

Annual Wellness Visit

This visit can take place every 12 months. At this visit, a personalized prevention plan is developed or updated. This may include completing a “Health Risk Assessment,” which examines health status, injury risks, risky behaviors, and health needs to promote wellness. A thorough review of medications also is performed.

During the Annual Wellness Visit, a nurse will take a complete health history. This includes the following:

  • Screenings to detect depression, risk of falling, and other problems.
  • A limited exam to check blood pressure, weight, height, vision, and other things depending on age, gender, and level of activity.
  • Recommendations for other wellness services and healthy lifestyle changes are noted.

At the end of the visit, you will see your provider to discuss interventions and wishes for future healthcare, such as advance directives–written statements about how you want medical decisions made when you are no longer able to make them.

Medicare does not allow existing health problems to be addressed during the Annual Wellness Visit. Such issues require a separate appointment.

Request an appointment: Call (217) 466-4620 or request an appointment online in your patient portal.

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