Medicare Annual Wellness Visit

Your Northwestern Medicine primary care physician is here to support your health and well-being at every age and stage — not just when you are sick. Regular checkups with your physician will help you stay healthy. That’s why most health insurance plans pay for yearly checkups.

Yearly Checkups and Medicare Annual Wellness Visits

Different insurance plans called the yearly checkup different names. You may hear the terms well-check, annual visit or preventive care visit.

Medicare calls the yearly checkup an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV).

At your yearly checkup, you and your physician work together to create a personalized plan to keep you healthy.

Cost of a Yearly Checkup

Most health insurance plans pay for a yearly checkup. However, you should contact your insurance company to find out what they will cover. For example, Medicare and some insurance companies will only pay for yearly checkups if you schedule them at least one year apart.

For most insurance plans, during your yearly checkup, your care team will:

  • Update your medical history
  • Update your list of medications
  • Measure your height, weight and blood pressure
  • Screen you for health risks, like depression

If you have Medicare, your care team may also do these things during your Annual Wellness Visit:

  • Review and update a list of all the medical professionals you see
  • Assess your hearing and vision, home safety and memory
  • Set a schedule for services, like cancer screenings, that will keep you healthy
  • Develop a plan for end-of-life care

Combination Checkup and Problem Visits

You might choose to talk about a new or existing health problem at your yearly checkup so that you don’t have to make another appointment. Even though it’s one appointment, Northwestern Medicine has to bill for your yearly checkup and your health problem visit separately by law. When this happens, you may have to pay for the visit differently, depending on your insurance coverage.

If you have questions about your bill, please call 855.694.2866 (TTY: 711).

Flier showing preventive care visits vs. problem visits