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Why Am I Getting A Bill For a Medicare Physical Exam

It’s very important to get a physical from your doctor every year to make sure your health hasn’t changed.  When scheduling your Medicare physical exam it is important to ask for a “Wellness Exam” and NOT a physical.  This is because Medicare does not pay for a Physical Exam, but does pay for a “Wellness Exam” annually. A physical exam is more comprehensive than a Wellness exam because it includes bloodwork a check of your vital organs, whereas a Wellness Exam does not.  

What Is the "Welcome to Medicare" Preventive Visit?

In the first year that you have Medicare Part B, your policy covers a one-time "Welcome to Medicare" preventive visit. This allows your doctor and any future doctors you work with to know your baseline of health. This first wellness exam gives you and your doctor a chance to:

  • Go over your health as it is at the time;
  • Establish any preventative care you need going forward;
  • Discuss any treatments you require (or may need to change or discontinue); and
  • Update any screenings or shots that you need.

Your doctor will go over essential traits like your vision and blood pressure, test for issues like cancer, and also come up with advance directives, if needed. Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to establish how you would like to be cared for should you be unable to communicate in the future.

What is checked during my Medicare Wellness Exam?

After your "Welcome to Medicare" checkup, the wellness exam can be done annually to make sure all your needs are met and your health information is up-to-date. Your Medicare Wellness visit goes over your basic vitals (blood pressure, BMI, height, weight) and double-check and correct your medical history, as well as discuss with you your risks for conditions like Type II diabetes. Medicare covers all preventive care at no charge and you can review the list of preventive services here.

Why and When Should You Have Another Wellness Exam?

You want to have your annual visits once a year, but there are some specifics to that if you want Medicare to cover it:

  • You need to have had Medicare Part B for at least 12 months.
  • It must be at least 12 months since your last annual wellness visit.

Arrange this with your primary care provider as soon as you can. Keeping it to the same time of year can help prevent forgetting or trying to arrange it too early.


Medicare can be confusing which is why we are here to help at NJ Medicare Brokers.

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