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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Kolitsas

Can You Refuse A Medicare Wellness Visit?

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Yes, you can refuse a Medicare Wellness Visit—it is not mandatory. This visit is considered preventative care, and comes at no cost to beneficiaries. It is completely voluntary, and meant to keep you in touch with your doctor and with your health.


 

Medical Supplies
Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

What is a Medicare "Wellness" Visit?


You will have access to a free wellness visit once a year. It is not a physical assessment. You will not be fully examined as you would with a typical doctor’s appointment. Rather, the purpose of a wellness check is to review your general health status and assess potential risk factors and preventative treatments.


During the visit, you and your doctor will do:

  1. Routine measurements.

  2. Height, weight and blood pressure check.

  3. Health risk assessment consisting of questions about your healthcare status, needs, and risks.

  4. Review of medical history and family medical history.

  5. Review of your list of current medications.

  6. Assessment of your functional ability and mobility (i.e. tasks to perform daily living like dressing, eating, etc.)

  7. Screenings for hearing impairments, dementia, and depression.

  8. Give health advice on weight loss, smoking habits, and other risk factors and potential health concerns based on your situation.

  9. Update your list of preferred providers.

  10. Schedule you for needed preventative care services such as diabetes screening or a mammogram.


Why You May Want to Refuse it, and Why You Should Consider it


There are a number of reasons why you may want to skip your annual wellness visit. Since it isn’t mandatory, you are completely allowed to do so.


Many people confuse the wellness check with a physical, and feel that they don’t need it. Others fear that they will schedule the wrong appointment, and end up paying out-of-pocket for something they thought would be their free Medicare wellness check. Others may simply find the check unnecessary. You are completely able to skip it for any of these reasons. But there are a few reasons you may still want to take advantage of it.


To overcome the confusion between a physical and a wellness visit, you need to say that you want to schedule your “annual wellness visit,” not a yearly physical. That way, you will get the appointment you need at no charge.


It’s also understandable to find the check unnecessary. However, it can be very useful for understanding your current and potential future health needs and red flags to watch out for. More than that, however, the annual wellness visit may help you get more Part B benefits.

Medicare Part B provides coverage for items and services that are considered “medically necessary” to your situation. If you have an annual wellness check, your doctor may recommend you to healthcare treatments which would then be considered “medically necessary” and covered by Part B. And, they may help you schedule an appointment that is already covered under Part B, but help you understand when you need it to better pace your benefits and healthcare treatments.



 

Learn the Ins-and-Outs of Your Medicare Benefits


Innovative Senior Benefits will help you make the most of your Medicare plan. To learn more, call us at 203-217-3366.



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