When you first enroll in Medicare, you are entitled to an “Introduction to Medicare Checkup” with your Primary Care Physician (PCP). You should schedule this visit as soon as your Medicare is in effect. This introduction to Medicare should not be confused with your yearly “Wellness Check”. Many folks are unaware that you are eligible for a yearly “Wellness Check” provided by your Medicare coverage. This wellness visit is at no cost to you. You will need to be on your Medicare coverage plan for at least one year to qualify for your annual “Wellness Check.” This preventative service can cover many medical issues.

It’s what some people used to refer to as a yearly physical. This allows your PCP to schedule a list of tests to get a good baseline of your medical condition, so that in future Wellness Checks, if something is off on your normal measurements, your doctor can spot any abnormality and catch a potential medical issue before it develops into a serious medical issue.

Below is a list, posted at www.medicare.gov, that you can review and discuss with your doctor. Keep in mind that if one of the preventative screening services reveals a potential medical issue and further testing is needed, the additional testing may trigger a co-pay if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Preventive & screening services

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers: 

• Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
• Alcohol misuse screenings & counseling
• Bone mass measurements (bone density)
• Cardiovascular disease screenings
• Cardiovascular disease (behavioral therapy)
• Cervical & vaginal cancer screening
• Colorectal cancer screenings
• Multi-target stool DNA tests
• Screening barium enemas
• Screening colonoscopies
• Screening fecal occult blood tests
• Screening flexible sigmoidoscopies
• Depression screenings
• Diabetes screenings
• Diabetes self-management training
• Glaucoma tests
• Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection screening
• Hepatitis C screening test
• HIV screening
• Lung cancer screening
• Mammograms (screening)
• Nutrition therapy services
• Obesity screenings & counseling
• One-time “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit
• Prostate cancer screenings
• Sexually transmitted infections screening & counseling
• Shots:
• Flu shots
• Hepatitis B shots
• Pneumococcal shots
• Tobacco use cessation counseling
• Yearly “Wellness” visit