As of January 2011, Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans began covering an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV)
, a new benefit resulting from the Affordable Care Act. The AWV takes place with one’s primary care provider, is covered once every 12 months after the first year of Medicare or Medicare Advantage Plan coverage, and has no deductibles, coinsurance or co-payments.
The visit includes the provider taking your medical history, a health risk assessment, an evaluation of your physical condition, and a screening for cognitive impairment, including depression. It includes a personalized prevention plan, where the doctor develops a strategy with you to manage your health, including planning the preventive services and screenings you may need over the next 5 to 10 years. These visits can be scheduled with your annual preventative visit to provide a comprehensive overview of your overall health.