It's Time For Your Annual Wellness Visit
Now that many patients are safely returning to their providers’ offices, you may find yourself planning for your annual wellness visit. Since many were unable to make last year’s appointment, you may have a slew of questions you’re ready to ask like “what could be causing my back pain” or “what should I do about my frequent headaches?”
Before you run through your long-awaited list of questions for your doctor, it’s important to understand what’s considered preventive vs. diagnostic.
Annual wellness appointments are generally free under insurance plans because they serve as preventive treatment. You and your doctor will discuss any changes to your health, and will work together to create a personal health plan for the year ahead. Issues like sick visits or treatment for chronic illnesses are actually diagnostic.
Depending on the conversation you have with your provider and the questions you ask, you may get a surprise bill if any of the care you receive falls into the diagnostic bucket.
Here are a few questions you can ask the medical office prior to your visit:
What will my visit cost?
What’s covered in my visit?
What additional costs may arise from this visit?
It is also a good idea to remind your doctor of any concerns you have with the cost of your visit before you continue with your visit.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), private health plans are required to cover many recommended preventive services without patient cost-sharing. Click here for a list of Preventative Services.