Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare beneficiaries are entitled to a yearly wellness check as well as a number of other preventative services at no charge to the patient.
When you see your doctor for your first wellness check, your physician's office may require your copayment for the visit itself but screenings performed during will not result in any charges to you.
During your wellness visit your doctor will establish your medical and family history to learn what diseases and conditions you may be at higher risk of developing. They'll also want to know your medical past to document hospital stays, surgeries, allergies, injuries and treatments.
Your doctor will get measurements of your height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure and any other routine measurements they consider necessary.
Doctors will want to review an individual's potential risk factors for depression and other mood disorders and offer health advice or referrals to the appropriate health care provider.
In the years following your first wellness check, your doctor will make any updates needed to your chart.
You will not be required to pay your Medicare Part B deductible or copayment for certain screenings as long as they include:
- Bone mass measurement
- Cervical cancer screening including Pap smear tests and pelvic exams
- Cholesterol and certain cardiovascular screenings
- Colorectal cancer screening
- Diabetes screening
- Flu shot, pneumonia shot and hepatitis B shot
- HIV screening for those at increased risk or want to be tested
- Medical nutrition therapy for the management of diabetes and kidney disease
- Prostate cancer screening
Other preventative services that come at no cost to the patient include tobacco use cessation counseling. Keep in mind that if you've already been diagnosed with a tobacco-related illness then your co-insurance and deductible will apply when you seek cessation counseling.