You may think that if there’s nothing wrong, you have no reason to go to the doctor. Think again! Annual wellness exams are a crucial part of maintaining good health, and if you skip out on yours, you could be missing out on your chance to identify health problems early enough to treat them. At Southeastern Primary Care Specialists, we want to encourage everyone reading this to schedule an annual wellness exam (if you haven’t already). Here are a few reasons why annual wellness exams are so important:
During standard wellness exams, your primary care physician will take some measurements including your height, weight, blood pressure, and heart rate. You may also undergo a physical exam or blood and urine tests. If your readings are within acceptable levels, you’ll gain peace of mind knowing that you’re in good health. If they’re not, it will give you the chance to make important lifestyle changes that can improve your health in the future.
For example, if your annual wellness exam identifies elevated blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medication to lower it, or if your lifestyle could be the root cause of the problem, outline some steps you can take to get it under control. In the case of high blood pressure, diet, exercise, and quitting smoking all have the potential to get the problem under control without medication, and the earlier you start, the better your chances of success will be.
Taking simple measurements like these at annual wellness exams can identify a range of problems like obesity, diabetes, irregular heartbeat, and more. These issues can be difficult for a person to notice on their own, but annual wellness exams provide a benchmark that can be used to determine your current health in relation to previous exams.
Developing a Relationship with Your Doctor
There’s another, less tangible benefit of scheduling annual wellness exams: getting to know your doctor and your primary care providers better! The doctor-patient relationship is built on trust, and it’s hard to build trust with someone you only see once every few years. Not only will your yearly wellness exam give you the chance to speak to your doctor and develop that trust, it also gives your doctor the chance to get more familiar with you, your lifestyle, your family history of health issues, and any health problems you’re currently dealing with. Understand that doctors see hundreds of different patients every year, so if you can become a familiar face, it may help you have better health outcomes in the future. And when you develop a closer relationship with your doctor, you’ll feel more comfortable being honest about your lifestyle and the way you’re feeling, both physically and mentally.
While some studies and publications have suggested that yearly wellness exams are not necessary, at Southeastern Primary Care Specialists, we believe that annual visit to the doctor is the best way to track your health in real time. Not only does a yearly wellness exam allow your doctor to collect important health data, it also gives you the chance to get more friendly. For many, visiting the doctor can induce quite a bit of anxiety, so feeling like you’re going to visit a friend can make your yearly appointment a breeze! To get in touch with us for your yearly wellness exam, call (770) 716-7999 or send an email to email@example.com. We’ll direct you to one of our two convenient locations in the Atlanta area. Don’t put off your wellness exam; give us a call today!
Does Insurance Cover Annual Wellness Exams?
If you read our previous blog post about wellness exams, you’re probably convinced that you need to get one every year to ensure you can spot potential risk factors for serious conditions and begin treating them as soon as possible. Your primary care physician can use your annual wellness exams to determine a baseline for numbers like your height, weight, blood pressure, and more to determine if they’re out of the ordinary during future visits. Of course, insurance coverage is a factor for most people when they choose a primary care provider and whether to schedule wellness exams. So does health insurance cover annual wellness exams? Read more to find out!
Private Health Insurance Plans
If you’re covered by private health insurance like an employer’s healthcare plan or a healthcare marketplace plan, we have good news for you! In most cases, your annual wellness exams will be 100% covered as long as the healthcare provider is in your network. This exam will usually include an assessment of your past medical history, lifestyle, and family history as well as a review of any medications you’re taking and your past immunizations. You’ll also receive a physical exam and measurement of your height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and more.
While these basic tests will be covered, please be aware that any additional testing like x-rays, blood tests, and more may not be covered as part of your annual wellness exams. If your primary care provider performs these types of tests during your wellness exam, you may receive an extra bill. You may also be responsible for copayments or deductibles depending on the specific provisions of your plan.
Does Medicare Cover Annual Wellness Exams?
Those of you who are on Medicare may be wondering if this public health insurance covers annual wellness exams. If you have had Medicare Part B for more than 12 months, you qualify to receive one wellness visit per year. As long as your primary care provider participates in Medicare, you will not get a bill. Please note that this is not the same thing as an annual physical, and that different types of tests will be performed. If you specifically request a physical exam, it may not be covered by Medicare and you may receive a bill.
During Medicare wellness exams, certain tests will be performed including height, weight, and blood pressure plus a review of your medical history. You will also be evaluated for cognitive impairment to find out if you have signs of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Once those tests are done, your doctor will discuss your risk factors with you, review treatment options, and come up with a screening schedule for preventative services that may be necessary for you.
Southeastern Primary Care Specialists
No matter how long it’s been since your last wellness exam, Southeastern Primary Care Specialists would like to be your primary care physician! We can help you with annual wellness exams, sports physicals, and so much more. With 2 convenient locations in Stockbridge and Fayetteville, GA, we make it simple for you to get the wellness exams and treatments you need. Give us a call at (770) 716-7999 to find the location nearest you and schedule an appointment today!