Many people only visit their healthcare provider when they’re injured or not feeling well. However, it’s equally important to see your provider regularly for preventive care services. Your annual wellness visit with your primary care provider (PCP) is a crucial appointment that helps identify potential health concerns early on.
Most insurance plans cover preventive care services, often at no cost to you. Let’s delve into what you need to know about these annual wellness visits.
What Does Annual Wellness Visit Involve?
So, what exactly does an annual wellness visit involve? It provides your PCP with an opportunity to perform a physical examination and offers you a chance to ask questions, discuss any health changes over the past year, and build a trusting relationship with your healthcare provider, who knows your health history well.
One of the great things about these visits is that they are tailored to your age and gender. Your provider may review your immunization history to ensure you’re up to date on vaccinations, which could include the flu shot, Tdap, COVID-19 vaccines or boosters, or even the shingles vaccine (Shingrix) if you’re 50 or older. Additionally, your PCP may conduct specific screenings depending on your age and risk factors.
It’s important to note that if you have a specific concern or injury that falls outside the scope of an annual wellness visit, you’ll need to schedule a separate appointment to avoid any out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles or coinsurance. Always check with your healthcare team when scheduling your annual wellness visit.
What are the Requirements for Your Annual Wellness Visit?
Now, let’s clarify the difference between an annual physical exam and an annual wellness visit. The key distinction lies in the purpose of the visit.
An annual physical exam aims to identify any health issues by physically assessing your body’s functioning. These visits provide an opportunity to develop and update your personalized health plan based on your current health and risk factors, helping you prevent illnesses and other health problems. During these appointments, you and your provider may:
- Answer questions from a health risk assessment
- Discuss your medical and family history
- Review your current prescriptions and healthcare providers
- Take routine measurements like height, weight, and blood pressure
- Receive personalized health advice
- Check for signs of memory loss or impairment
- Document risk factors and treatment options
- Create a screening schedule for preventive services
- Assess your fall risk and any pain you may be experiencing
- Review your ability to perform daily activities
- Discuss advance care planning
If you receive additional tests or services during these appointments, you may be responsible for coinsurance or deductibles. Don’t hesitate to ask your provider any questions you have about healthcare service coverage.
The key takeaway is this: don’t wait until something is wrong or you feel sick to visit your doctor. The best way to stay proactive about your health is by staying committed to your annual wellness visit. Schedule your appointment today with our practitioners at PCP for Life by giving us a call at (281)-968-4096 and start your journey toward good health. Your future self will thank you!