Medicare Preventive Screenings: Physical Exam

If you are new to Medicare you are entitled to a one-time preventive physical exam within the first 12 months and you have Medicare Part B.

Medicare calls this the “Welcome to Medicare” physical exam.  What does the exam include?

  • Medical history
  • Social history
  • Review of your health
  • Educational counseling about preventive screenings
    • Shots
    • Referral
    • Other screenings for other care

NEW FOR 2011

New, beginning January 1, 2011 is a Yearly Wellness Exam if you have had Medicare Part B for more than 12 months.  There is no charge for this exam if your doctor accepts assignment and it is covered every 12 months.


Your doctor will record your medical history, check blood pressure, height, weight, body mass index and give you a simple vision test. Depending on your general health and medical history, further tests may be ordered.

Advanced Directives

Your doctor will also talk to you about creating advance directives. Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to put in writing what kind of health care you would want if you were too ill to speak for yourself.


Your doctor or health care provider will give you other advice to help you prevent or delay disease, ways to improve your health and stay well.  You will get a written plan (checklist) to let you know of other screenings and services you might need.

What to Bring

When you go to your “Welcome to Medicare” physical exam, bring the following items:

  • Your medical records, including immunization records (if you are seeing a new doctor).
  • Your family health history—try to learn as much as you can about your family’s health history before your appointment. Any information you can give your doctor can help determine if you are at risk for certain diseases.
  • A list of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that you currently take, how often you take them, strength and why you take them.

Medicare Requirements for the Welcome to Medicare Physical Exam:

Who is Covered?

All people who have had Medicare Part B for 12 months or less.

How often is it covered?

The Welcome to Medicare exam is one time and you must have the exam within the first 12 months you have Part B, even if the effective date of your Part B enrollment began in 2008.

Your costs if you have Original Medicare.

You pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount, and no Part B deductible.

1 Response

  1. [...] the original here: Medicare Preventive Screenings: Physical Exam This entry was posted in Elder Care and tagged a-new-doctor, a-simple-vision, care, [...]
  2. Caring for Aging Parents
    Great advice. Your body is just like your car... regular prevention and maintenance ensures your car lasts a long time! Kevin