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Welcome to Medicare

Leverage Your “Welcome to Medicare” Visit

Did you know that every new Medicare beneficiary gets a one-time welcome preventive visit with a doctor?

This Welcome to Medicare visit is an important benefit in which you can discuss any problems with your doctor and go over your medical history. Everyone enrolled in Medicare Part B has access to this free visit within the first 12 months of enrolling in Medicare.

The welcome visit offers time to spend with your doctor to go over any questions you may have and to be screened for various potential health problems. Make sure to come with questions ready and with your medical history handy. This is a time to tell your doctor about any problems, large or small, you have been experiencing. You and your doctor will set up a written plan for your health and even talk about advance directives should your health decline.

 

What happens at the visit

The Welcome to Medicare visit includes such things as:

  • A review of your medical and social history, current health condition, and your prescriptions
  • Screenings such as mental health, cancer and safety level / functional ability
  • General checkup (height, weight, blood pressure, BMI calculations, vision test) to establish a baseline for future visits
  • Ordering of further tests if needed

What to bring

For the Welcome to Medicare visit, be sure to bring:

  • Your medical records
  • Your immunization records
  • Your family health history
  • A list of prescriptions and other medications you are taking, including how often you take them and for what reason
  • Any other important information about your health

Annual wellness exams are covered, too

In addition to the Welcome to Medicare visit, Medicare covers an annual wellness exam during which you can address any new issues with your doctor.

Dr. Mara A. Schonberg of Harvard Medical School praises the Medicare annual wellness visits: “I believe they are a move in the right direction. They let me think about the care of my older patients in a comprehensive manner, rather than struggling to manage each of their health issues compartmentally.”

The Welcome to Medicare visit and the annual wellness visits are free under Medicare, however if your doctor orders further tests, coinsurance and deductibles may apply.

Related Links

Preventive Services in Medicare

 

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