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Medicare Wellness Exams

Interior Community Health Center

Health Center & Dental Clinic located in Fairbanks, AK & Healy, AK

Medicare Wellness Exams

cheerful senior man speaking to doctor


Interior Community Health Center offers both types of Medicare Wellness Exams:

  • Welcome to Medicare Exam (Initial Preventive Physical Exam, or IPPE)
  • Annual Wellness Visit (AWV)


What is included in a Welcome to Medicare exam?

The "Welcome to Medicare" exam is a review of your medical and social health history, and includes education about other preventive services. It is an opportunity for you to discuss with your doctor everything you need to maintain your health as you age. You can review important screenings and preventions, and have orders placed for any screenings you are due for, and maybe get some of them done on the same day! We will also give you a handy checklist that tells you everything you should get done and when, in order to stay healthy and prevent unexpected illness. Like the AWV, it is covered under a special benefit where your Medicare co-pay, co-insurance, and deductible do not apply, so there is no cost to you for the visit.

But, there are rules! During a Welcome to Medicare exam, you cannot receive treatment of chronic conditions such as thyroid, diabetes, or high blood pressure. You cannot get your medications renewed or managed, or have tests for your chronic conditions ordered, or treat a new condition or illness. If you ask for those things during your Welcome to Medicare exam, you won't receive the special coverage for this visit, and you'll have to pay your normal deductible and co-insurance. 

It's also important to know that a "Welcome to Medicare" exam or IPPE is available once per lifetime for patients within the first 12 months after their Part B benefits eligibility date. If you miss it, that's okay! You can still get an Annual Wellness Visit every year. 


What is included in an Annual Wellness Visit?

An Annual Wellness Visit is very similar to a Welcome to Medicare visit described above, but you might spend less time on review of your history and more time on your personalized prevention plan. That's the handy checklist we'll give you with your prevention recommendations. Just like the IPPE, there is no copay, co-insurance, or deductible for this visit, as long as you follow Medicare's rules and stick to your preventive services. You can only get this type of visit done once a year with any physician, so be sure to check your benefits before scheduling! 


Why should I get a Wellness visit?

Wellness visits are your opportunity for a one-on-one education and planning discussion with your healthcare provider. Our patients find that they love this extra time to learn about their screening and prevention needs without the added pressure of talking about their diabetes or other chronic conditions. You have more time to have your questions answered, and you can approach it with peace of mind, because you aren't there to talk about stressful problems like your high blood pressure. 

Plus, it's covered in full by Medicare, so it has no cost to you but the investment of your time. It's good to invest in yourself!