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Welcome to Medicare Visit


Preventive care allows you to mitigate health concerns before they become more significant. The Welcome to Medicare visit lets you access this care upon enrolling in Medicare. Maintaining good health is vital as you age, so preventative care becomes increasingly crucial.

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Below, we explain what you should know about your Welcome to Medicare visit and the services this exam provides.

What is the Welcome to Medicare Visit?

Enrolling in Medicare makes you eligible for a one-time Welcome to Medicare preventive care exam. Your physician will review your current health and health history during this appointment. They will also perform various preventive screenings to accurately assess your health status.

You will also receive education about the information they collect and ways to prevent additional health concerns in the future. Depending on the doctor’s findings, they may advise you to seek specialist care or other health screenings.

The Welcome to Medicare visit is an excellent way for you and your physician to get to know each other and discuss any health concerns you may have. This is also a great time to catch up on certain preventive services you may have skipped over in previous years.

Who is Eligible for the Welcome to Medicare Visit?

If you have Original Medicare, you qualify for the Welcome to Medicare physical. You must schedule your appointment within the first 12 months of enrolling in Medicare. This voluntary appointment is also available to those with Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Supplement (Medigap) coverage.

Once you complete your Welcome to Medicare visit and have Medicare coverage for over 12 months, you can schedule your annual wellness visit. This exam is like the Welcome to Medicare preventive appointment but offers more care options.

What Services Are Covered by the Welcome to Medicare Visit?

The Welcome to Medicare visit is different from your annual wellness visit. So, the appointment may not include some services you may expect. However, your Welcome to Medicare visit should consist of:

  • A comprehensive review of your health history
  • Height, weight, and blood pressure measurements
  • Review your current medications
  • Body mass index (BMI) calculation
  • Dementia and depression screening
  • Flu and pneumococcal vaccines
  • Discussion of advanced directives and other end-of-life documents
  • Wellness outline
  • Referrals to specialist care if necessary

During this visit, your provider will speak with you about any current concerns. Creating a list of items you wish to discuss with your doctor during this time is essential.

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What Services Are Not Covered by the Welcome to Medicare Visit?

The Welcome to Medicare visit covers the basics. However, it does not cover everything. The Welcome to Medicare visit does not cover the following services:

  • Review of new health concerns
  • X-rays
  • Bloodwork
  • Diagnoses
  • Physical exam
  • Wound care

You may receive an additional bill if your doctor performs any of these services during your visit.

What Should You Bring to Your Welcome to Medicare Visit?

When attending your Welcome to Medicare visit, you should be sure to bring the following:

  • Medical records
  • Immunization records
  • Medication list (including vitamins and over-the-counter drugs)
  • Family health history

By providing this information, your doctor can more accurately gauge your health and thus provide better preventive care.

How Much Does the Welcome to Medicare Visit Cost?

The Welcome to Medicare physical exam is free of charge to all new Medicare enrollees. You will pay nothing for your visit if you mention the nature of the appointment to your provider.

For your doctor to bill your appointment as the Welcome to Medicare visit, you must specify the purpose of your visit during scheduling. Doing so will help avoid billing mistakes.

FAQs

Does Medicare require a primary care physician?
Choosing one primary care physician is not mandatory on Medicare. However, you should find a provider who understands your health. We recommend choosing a doctor who accepts Medicare assignment to avoid unexpected costs.
Is the Welcome to Medicare visit the same as your yearly physical?
The Welcome to Medicare visit is your initial preventive physical exam. The initial checkup is a first-time introduction to Medicare. Your annual wellness visit will include different services and will happen once yearly.
Are clinical lab tests part of the Welcome to Medicare visit?
Your initial preventive physical exam does not include clinical lab tests. Should you need lab tests, you can request that service.

How to Understand Your Welcome to Medicare Visit Coverage

Receiving preventive care is vital to your overall health and well-being. Luckily, Medicare provides preventive care appointments that allow you to stay on track with your health.

You may require additional testing or care from specialists who can address your health concerns more accurately. Complete our online rate form today to compare additional Medicare coverage in your area.

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Sources:

MedicareFAQ is dedicated to providing you with authentic and trustworthy Medicare information. We have strict sourcing guidelines and work diligently to serve our readers with accurate and up-to-date content.

  1. Welcome to Medicare preventive visit, Medicare. Accessed September 2022.
    https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/welcome-to-medicare-preventive-visit
  2. Medicare Wellness Visits, CMS. Accessed September 2022.
    https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/preventive-services/medicare-wellness-visits.html

Jagger Esch

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.

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